Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Created by or as if by a wildly fanciful imagination; highly improbable.
  • adj. Given to unrealistic fantasies; fanciful.
  • adj. Of, related to, or being a chimera.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a chimera.
  • adj. Being a figment of the imagination; fantastic (in the archaic sense).
  • adj. Inherently fantastic; wildly fanciful.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Merely imaginary; fanciful; fantastic; wildly or vainly conceived; having, or capable of having, no existence except in thought.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or of the nature of a chimera; wholly imaginary; unreal; fantastic.
  • Incapable of realization; fantastically imaginative; preposterous: as, chimerical ideas, notions, projects, or fancies.
  • Given to or entertaining chimeras or fantastic ideas or projects: as, a chimerical enthusiast; the work of a chimerical brain.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. being or relating to or like a chimera
  • adj. produced by a wildly fanciful imagination

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From chimera, from Latin chimaera, from Ancient Greek χίμαιρα (khímaira, "she-goat"). This term entered English around 1638.

Examples

  • He interested his brother Etienne in these so-called chimerical projects.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

  • Hodder fell asleep from sheer exhaustion, awaking during the night at occasional intervals to recall chimerical dreams in which the events of the day before were reflected, but caricatured and distorted.

    The Inside of the Cup — Complete

  • She struggles for no kind of chimerical credit, disclaims the appearance of every affectation, and is in all things just what she seems, and others would be thought.

    Sketches of the Fair Sex, in All Parts of the World

  • Yes, sir, you are right; we have one "chimerical" idea -- giving our readers such a neat, spicy, beautiful paper for two dollars a year.

    What the Press Says of Us

  • But if the Israelis really do fear the loss of their deterrent from Lebanon — which is kind of chimerical; Israel is the regional superpower, and it says a lot that Hamas’s rockets are crude Qassams — then stopping now might play into the same psychodrama.

    Better Watch What You Say | ATTACKERMAN

  • "While others are feasting their fruitful imaginations with the idle and visionary dreams of fanaticism; with a kind of chimerical heaven of which they know _nothing_, as to its certainty: this man is in heaven already: dwelling in love, he 'dwelleth in God, and God in him.'

    A Series of Letters in Defence of Divine Revelation

  • Agrippa had been entirely exploded, and that a modern system of science had been introduced, which possessed much greater powers than the ancient, because the powers of the latter were chimerical, while those of the former were real and practical; under such circumstances, I should certainly have thrown Agrippa aside, and have contented my imagination, warmed as it was, by returning with greater ardour to my former studies.

    Chapter 2

  • What is clear, is that returning to industrial-age conditions and equilibriums is chimerical.

    Is 'Fewer Makers, More Takers' an Inevitable Change?

  • There are other reasons why such an alliance could prove to be chimerical.

    How Iran Could Save the Middle East

  • In the aftermath of 9/11, and perhaps blinded by the need for revenge, we allowed our right to privacy be sacrificed in the headlong rush to seek and destroy any and all terrorists, actual or chimerical.

    Vito de la Cruz: Civil Liberties Were Casualties of 9/11

Comments

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  • "For years I had believed that the notion of going to Mme Swann's was a vague, chimerical dream to which I should never attain; after I had spent a quarter of an hour in her drawing-room, it was the time when I did not yet know her that had become chimerical and vague like a possibility which the realisation of an alternative possibility has destroyed."

    -- Within a Budding Grove by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, Revised by D.J. Enright, p 151 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    April 20, 2008