Definition of fanciful in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈfansɪfʊl/


1Over-imaginative and unrealistic: ever more fanciful proposals were raised
More example sentences
  • Okay, so admittedly that may be a fanciful and unrealistic goal.
  • He is less imaginative or fanciful than Tom, but more practical.
  • He'd always said such things like that, always so fanciful and imaginative with an underlying tone of seriousness.
1.1Existing only in the imagination: fanciful lunar inhabitants
More example sentences
  • Paintings of original and fanciful snowmen are one favorite, and winter trees or landscapes are another.
  • The judge said the two men lived in a ‘strange and fanciful world’ where they thought they could ‘ride around in cars, armed to the hilt’.
  • During their mission, they encounter all kinds of bizarre and fanciful creatures.
imaginative, inventive;
whimsical, impractical, capricious, flighty, dreamy, daydreaming, quixotic, chimerical, head in the clouds, out of touch with reality, in a world of one's own
archaic visionary
fantastic, extravagant, far-fetched, romantic, unbelievable, ridiculous, absurd, preposterous;
imaginary, fancied, unreal, illusory, made-up, make-believe;
informal far out, tall, crackpot, cock and bull, hard to swallow/take
2Highly ornamental or imaginative in design: a fanciful Art Nouveau bar
More example sentences
  • The new place is colourful and inviting, as sunflower-yellow walls help to show off Obadia's collection of colourful wall hangings, photographs, ornamental pots and fanciful souvenirs.
  • They made fanciful designs with dots, lines and geometric patterns on walls, antlers and other things.
  • The fountain illustrated, an exquisite piece of Gothic architecture in miniature, was designed to be both fanciful and functional.
ornate, exotic, imaginative, creative, fancy;
curious, odd, bizarre, strange, eccentric, unusual, original;
extravagant, fantastic, grotesque, gothic, baroque



Pronunciation: /ˈfansɪfʊli/
Example sentences
  • Not so long ago, the major film critics in the U.S. fancifully tossed around the idea of the ‘death of cinema.’
  • Even this outpouring of funds, though, won't take the technology to the level Crichton fancifully depicts.
  • Maybe he was like all the others and I was fancifully making all his nice gestures up, it was all a figment of my imagination.


Pronunciation: /ˈfansɪˌfʊlnəs/
Example sentences
  • Stephen's bullying self-pity and edgy rationalism ran up sharply against Anny's fancifulness, extravagance and sentiment.
  • There's a fancifulness and whimsy to the way she draws the human figure.
  • We sought to add imagination and fancifulness to regular family activities.
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.