1) ADJ-GRADED (disapproval) If you describe an idea as fanciful, you disapprove of it because you think it comes from someone's imagination, and is therefore unrealistic or unlikely to be true.

...fanciful ideas about Martian life...

Designing silicon chips to mimic human organs sounds fanciful.

2) ADJ-GRADED If you describe the appearance of something as fanciful, you mean that it is unusual and elaborate rather than plain and simple.

The economic gloom of the early 1980s was relieved by fanciful architecture.

English dictionary. 2008.

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  • Fanciful — Fan ci*ful, a. 1. Full of fancy; guided by fancy, rather than by reason and experience; whimsical; as, a fanciful man forms visionary projects. [1913 Webster] 2. Conceived in the fancy; not consistent with facts or reason; abounding in ideal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fanciful — [fan′sə fəl] adj. 1. full of fancy; indulging in fancies; imaginative in a playful way; whimsical 2. created in the fancy; imaginary; not real [a fanciful tale] 3. showing fancy in construction or design; quaint; odd [fanciful costumes]… …   English World dictionary

  • fanciful — index arbitrary, arbitrary and capricious, capricious, delusive, fictitious, ill founded, illusory, insubstantial …   Law dictionary

  • fanciful — 1620s, from FANCY (Cf. fancy) + FUL (Cf. ful). Related: Fancifully …   Etymology dictionary

  • fanciful — imaginary, visionary, fantastic, chimerical, quixotic Analogous words: *fictitious, fabulous, mythical, apocryphal, legendary: bizarre, grotesque, *fantastic: preposterous, absurd (see FOOLISH): *false, wrong Antonyms: realistic Contrasted words …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • fanciful — [adj] imaginary, romantic absurd, aerial, bizarre, blue sky*, capricious, castles in the air*, chimerical, curious, dreamlike, extravagant, fabulous, fairy tale, fancied, fantastic, fantastical, fictional, fictitious, fictive, flaky*, floating,… …   New thesaurus

  • fanciful — ► ADJECTIVE 1) over imaginative and unrealistic. 2) existing only in the imagination. 3) highly ornamental or imaginative in design. DERIVATIVES fancifully adverb fancifulness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • fanciful — adjective Date: circa 1627 1. marked by fancy or unrestrained imagination rather than by reason and experience < a fanciful person > 2. existing in fancy only < a fanciful notion > 3. marked by or as if by fancy or whim < gave their children… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • fanciful — fancifully, adv. fancifulness, n. /fan si feuhl/, adj. 1. characterized by or showing fancy; capricious or whimsical in appearance: a fanciful design of butterflies and flowers. 2. suggested by fancy; imaginary; unreal: fanciful lands of romance …   Universalium

  • fanciful — fan|ci|ful [ˈfænsıfəl] adj 1.) imagined rather than based on facts often used to show disapproval ▪ a fanciful story ▪ The suggestion that there was a conspiracy is not entirely fanciful. 2.) full of unusual and very detailed shapes or… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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