Definition of fanciful in English:



  • 1Over-imaginative and unrealistic.

    ‘ever more fanciful proposals were raised’
    • ‘Is it really so fanciful to expect coffee shops and bars to provide internet access on the house?’
    • ‘The idea of a team made up of footballers who could play anywhere, moving around the pitch as the game and their colleagues demanded, now seems quaint and fanciful.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Okay, so admittedly that may be a fanciful and unrealistic goal.’
    impractical, impracticable, unworkable, unfeasible, non-viable
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    1. 1.1 Existing only in the imagination.
      ‘fanciful lunar inhabitants’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘Paintings of original and fanciful snowmen are one favorite, and winter trees or landscapes are another.’
      • ‘And I think you never outgrow your love for those imaginative, fanciful, farfetched, fantastic characters and situations.’
      • ‘In this way I made bright many linens to cover the holy books, and made for myself gay designs of fanciful beasts and birds upon my gowns and sashes.’
      • ‘During their mission, they encounter all kinds of bizarre and fanciful creatures.’
      imaginative, inventive
      fantastic, extravagant, far-fetched, romantic, unbelievable, ridiculous, absurd, preposterous
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  • 2Highly ornamental or imaginative in design.

    ‘a fanciful Art Nouveau bar’
    • ‘Wu Bing designed wonderful costumes, from semi-traditional to fanciful, while the lighting was minimal, sets almost nonexistent, and most of the music American.’
    • ‘They made fanciful designs with dots, lines and geometric patterns on walls, antlers and other things.’
    • ‘The living room is the most fanciful; its highly abstract designs interspersed with some identifiable birds and the occasional flower.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The fountain illustrated, an exquisite piece of Gothic architecture in miniature, was designed to be both fanciful and functional.’
    ornate, exotic, imaginative, creative, fancy
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