Share this entry
phantasm Syllabification: phan·tasm
Pronunciation: /ˈfanˌtazəm/

Definition of phantasm in English:


1A figment of the imagination; an illusion or apparition: the cart seemed to glide like a terrible phantasm
More example sentences
  • They thought He was a ghost, a phantasm, an apparition, a spirit, anything except their Master.
  • ‘It was only a terrible phantasm trying to take root in my imagination,’ he reassured himself.
  • The flickering shadows and darting phantasms on the walls reminded me exactly of some sights I once encountered in a cave in Spain, filled with art.
1.1 archaic An illusory likeness of something: every phantasm of a hope was quickly nullified


Pronunciation: /fanˈtazm(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Some images of the film seem heightened, romantic, expressionist, oneiric (like the phantasmal image of Raynal struggling against the wind).
  • The flicker of candlelight illuminated the darkened dining room, creating phantasmal shadows dancing upon the walls.
  • The way the moonbeams hit his face made him look pale and phantasmal, like he was a just an illusion sitting there against that dripping tree.
Pronunciation: /fanˈtazmik/
Example sentences
  • Furthermore, the images had a dreamlike or phantasmic quality to them, which supported this internal movement toward the imaginary.
  • At stake is the consciousness of art as a simulating surface, a phantasmic veil of illusory life and presence that seeks to displace historical and physical reality rather than merely represent it.
  • Samples of phantasmic voices whisper, hiss and appear to be darting and sliding invisibly from one spot to another throughout the room.


Middle English (in the sense 'deceptive appearance'): from Old French fantasme, via Latin from Greek phantasma, from phantazein 'make visible', from phainein 'to show'. The change from f- to ph- in the 16th century was influenced by the Latin spelling.

Definition of phantasm in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources