• synonyms


[fan-taz-uh m]
  1. phantasm.
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or fan·tasm

  1. an apparition or specter.
  2. a creation of the imagination or fancy; fantasy.
  3. a mental image or representation of a real object.
  4. an illusory likeness of something.
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Origin of phantasm

1175–1225; < Latin phantasma < Greek phántasma image, vision (akin to phantázein to bring before the mind); replacing Middle English fantesme < Old French < Latin as above

Synonyms for phantasm

Synonym study

1. See apparition.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fantasm

Historical Examples of fantasm

  • Later still, they found a little water poured in a basin or held in the hollow of the hand showed as true a fantasm.

    The Thing from the Lake

    Eleanor M. Ingram

  • Then I was right in calling you a dreamer, for love itself is a fantasm inspired by hope or memory.

    With Edge Tools

    Hobart Chatfield-Taylor

British Dictionary definitions for fantasm


  1. an archaic spelling of phantasm
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Derived Formsfantasmal or fantasmic, adjectivefantasmally or fantasmically, adverb


  1. a phantom
  2. an illusory perception of an object, person, etc
  3. (in the philosophy of Plato) objective reality as distorted by perception
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Derived Formsphantasmal or phantasmic, adjectivephantasmally or phantasmically, adverb

Word Origin for phantasm

C13: from Old French fantasme, from Latin phantasma, from Greek; related to Greek phantazein to cause to be seen, from phainein to show
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fantasm



early 13c., fantesme, from Old French fantosme "a dream, illusion, fantasy; apparition, ghost, phantom" (12c.), and directly from Latin phantasma "an apparition, specter," from Greek phantasma "image, phantom, apparition; mere image, unreality," from phantazein "to make visible, display," from stem of phainein "to bring to light, make appear; come to light, be seen, appear; explain, expound, inform against; appear to be so," from PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine" (cf. Sanskrit bhati "shines, glitters," Old Irish ban "white, light, ray of light"). Spelling conformed to Latin from 16c. (see ph). A spelling variant of phantom, "differentiated, but so that the differences are elusive" [Fowler].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fantasm in Medicine


  1. Something apparently seen but having no physical reality; an apparition.
  2. An illusory mental image.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.