noun, plural fancies.
1. imagination or fantasy, especially as exercised in a capricious manner.
2. the artistic ability of creating unreal or whimsical imagery, decorative detail, etc., as in poetry or drawing.
3. a mental image or conception: He had happy fancies of being a famous actor.
4. an idea or opinion with little foundation; illusion: Her belief that she can sing is a mere fancy.
5. a caprice; whim; vagary: It was his fancy to fly to Paris occasionally for dinner.
6. capricious preference; inclination; a liking: to take a fancy to walking barefoot in the streets.
7. critical judgment; taste.
8. the breeding of animals to develop points of beauty or excellence.
10. the fancy, Archaic. people deeply interested in a sport, art, etc.
adjective, fancier, fanciest.
11. made, designed, grown, adapted, etc., to please the taste or fancy; of superfine quality or exceptional appeal: fancy goods; fancy fruits.
12. ornamental; decorative; not plain: a cake with a fancy icing.
13. depending on imagination or caprice; whimsical; irregular: a fancy conception of time.
14. bred to develop points of beauty or excellence, as an animal.
15. much too costly; exorbitant or extravagant: a consultant who charges fancy fees.
verb (used with object), fancied, fancying.
16. to form a conception of; picture to oneself: Fancy living with that egotist all your life!
17. to believe without being absolutely sure or certain: I fancy you are my new neighbor.
18. to take a liking to; like.
19. to breed to develop a special type of animal.
20. (used as an exclamation of mild surprise): They invited you, too? Fancy!
21. fancy up, to make superficially showy by way of improvement: an old car fancied up with a bright new paint job.
2. Fancy, fantasy, imagination refer to qualities in literature or other artistic composition. The creations of fancy are casual, whimsical, and often amusing, being at once less profound and less moving or inspiring than those of imagination: letting one's fancy play freely on a subject; an impish fancy. Fantasy now usually suggests an unrestrained or extravagant fancy, often resulting in caprice: The use of fantasy in art creates interesting results. The term and concept of creative imagination are less than two hundred years old; previously only the reproductive aspect had been recognized, hardly to be distinguished from memory. “Creative imagination” suggests that the memories of actual sights and experiences may so blend in the mind of the writer or artist as to produce something that has never existed before—often a hitherto unperceived vision of reality: to use imagination in portraying character and action.
3. thought, notion, impression, idea; phantasm.
5. quirk, humor, crotchet.
11. fine, elegant, choice.
12. decorated, ornate.
16. envision, conceive, imagine.
Origin: 1350-1400; Middle English fan (t) sy, syncopated variant of fantasie fantasy
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