Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

phantasm

or fan·tasm

[fan-taz-uh m]
See more synonyms for phantasm on Thesaurus.com
noun
  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.
Show More

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

See more synonyms for phantasm on Thesaurus.com
1. ghost, vision. 4. hallucination, illusion.

Synonym study

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

Examples from the Web for phantasm

Historical Examples

  • It may have been but a phantasm, born of her own fevered imagination.

    All Roads Lead to Calvary

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • It is a phantasm which has little or no connection with fact.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner

  • Yet, that experience had the sharpness of fact; while this had only the vagueness of a phantasm.

    The Millionaire Baby

    Anna Katharine Green

  • Then no exaggeration was too absurd for him, no phantasm too unreal, no climax too extreme.

    Mark Twain

    Archibald Henderson

  • Perhaps this is true—the world a phantasm and our minds fooling us.

    The Meaning of Faith

    Harry Emerson Fosdick


British Dictionary definitions for phantasm

phantasm

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

Word Origin

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 phantasm

n.

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].

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

phantasm in Medicine

phantasm

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