[fan-taz-muh l]


pertaining to or of the nature of a phantasm; unreal; illusory; spectral: phantasmal creatures of nightmare.

Also phan·tas·mic, phan·tas·mi·cal, phan·tas·mat·ic [fan-taz-mat-ik] /ˌfæn tæzˈmæt ɪk/, phan·tas·mat·i·cal.

Origin of phantasmal

First recorded in 1805–15; phantasm + -al1
Related formsphan·tas·mal·i·ty, nounphan·tas·mal·ly, phan·tas·mi·cal·ly, phan·tas·mat·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for phantasmal

Contemporary Examples of phantasmal

  • Until now, such figures have stridden the phantasmal plains of American folklore and popular culture.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Populist Frankenstein

    Lee Siegel

    November 26, 2009

Historical Examples of phantasmal

  • They were too phantasmal and extravagant to enter into any one's fate.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • As to phantasmal bodies, she would prefer to see them first.

    Real Ghost Stories

    William T. Stead

  • Not this time could it be traced to some evil spell, some phantasmal influence.

    A Strange Story, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Phantasmal, blanched by the dark, his flowers dreamed on the lawn.

    The Creators

    May Sinclair

  • It is easy then to picture the moor as the phantasmal haunt of lost races.


    Arthur L. Salmon

Word Origin and History for phantasmal

1813, from phantasm + -al (1). Related: Phantasmally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper