Definition of fantasy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfan(t)əsē/

noun (plural fantasies)

1The faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable: his research had moved into the realm of fantasy
More example sentences
  • The proposition that tolls might quadruple on the Forth Road Bridge at peak times belongs in the realms of fantasy, in the box marked ‘politically impossible’.
  • Although the Chancellor may well remain against early membership, we can no longer claim the mechanics of British membership are in the realms of fantasy.
  • After the 5-1 hammering of the first leg, progress in this year's Worthington Cup always looked beyond even the realms of fantasy.
imagination, fancy, invention, make-believe;
creativity, vision;
daydreaming, reverie
1.1A fanciful mental image, typically one on which a person dwells at length or repeatedly and which reflects their conscious or unconscious wishes: the notion of being independent is a child’s ultimate fantasy
More example sentences
  • They reveal unconscious motivating fantasies and wishes about one's identity.
  • All such pulls, many of them unconscious, are deployed to disrupt the proper aim of the work that is, for the patient to come to acknowledge and own his own unconscious wishes and fantasies.
  • There is a level at which these films are patriarchal wish - fulfilment fantasies, in which our troubles are resolved by a trustworthy father - figure.
dream, daydream, pipe dream, fanciful notion, wish;
fond hope, chimera, delusion, illusion
informal pie in the sky
1.2An idea with no basis in reality: it is a misleading fantasy to suggest that the bill can be implemented
More example sentences
  • Americans behave this way partly because they have so little understanding of the world and live in a fantasy concerning even the realities of their own country.
  • The manager gave the impression that the whole idea was a distant fantasy unworthy of immediate attention on Friday, but there was an element of enthusiasm too.
  • For the 78-year-old Leeds-born millionaire, who made a career out of turning fantasies into reality, it was his own dream come true.
1.3A genre of imaginative fiction involving magic and adventure, especially in a setting other than the real world.
Example sentences
  • Of course some popular genre fiction - fantasy, science fiction, crime - can be of a high calibre as well.
  • It's a funny thing, but despite the fact that science fiction and fantasy are my genre fiction of choice, I never liked Lord of the Rings.
  • And yet why is it that African Americans are so little a part of genre science fiction and fantasy today?
1.4 [as modifier] Denoting a competition or league in which participants select imaginary teams from among the players in a real sports league and score points according to the actual performance of their players: he’s my second-round draft choice in fantasy baseball this year look at their dedication to fantasy leagues and the enormous minutiae of the stats they memorize
More example sentences
  • Over the past month, they're the two most valuable pitchers in all of fantasy baseball.
  • One of the most difficult commodities to acquire in fantasy baseball is elite starting pitching.
  • Did you finish last in your fantasy baseball league last year?
2A musical composition, free in form, typically involving variation on an existing work or the imaginative representation of a situation or story; a fantasia.
Example sentences
  • Field also wrote fantasies and rondos (using popular melodies), études, waltzes, and works for piano duet.
  • Written for Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Die Natali is a fantasy on Christmas carols.
  • The programme will be something of a surprise comprising of a fantasy by Telemann, a suite or partita by Bach and Barry Guy's ‘Inachis’.

verb (fantasies, fantasying, fantasied)

[with object] literary
Imagine the occurrence of; fantasize about.
Example sentences
  • Since they revealed little about the concentration camps, she fantasied stories of their courageous escapes.
  • Depression is guilt based, and relates to past fantasied or real events, while anxiety is based on the fear of some future fantasied catastrophe.
  • Webster's defines fetish as ‘an object of irrational reverence or obsessive devotion… an object or bodily part whose real or fantasied presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification.’


Late Middle English: from Old French fantasie, from Latin phantasia, from Greek, 'imagination, appearance', later 'phantom', from phantazein 'make visible'. From the 16th to the 19th centuries the Latinized spelling phantasy was also used.

Words that rhyme with fantasy


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fan·ta·sy

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