Definitions

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

  • n. The mental faculty through which whims, visions, and fantasies are summoned up; imagination, especially of a whimsical or fantastic nature. See Synonyms at imagination.
  • n. An image or a fantastic invention created by the mind.
  • n. A capricious notion; a whim.
  • n. A capricious liking or inclination.
  • n. Critical sensibility; taste.
  • n. Amorous or romantic attachment; love.
  • n. The enthusiasts or fans of a sport or pursuit considered as a group.
  • n. The sport or pursuit, such as boxing, engaging the interest of such a group.
  • adj. Highly decorated: a fancy hat.
  • adj. Arising in the fancy; capricious.
  • adj. Executed with skill; complex or intricate: the fancy footwork of a figure skater.
  • adj. Of superior grade; fine: fancy preserves.
  • adj. Excessive or exorbitant: paid a fancy price for the car.
  • adj. Bred for unusual qualities or special points.
  • transitive v. To visualize; imagine: "She tried to fancy what the flame of a candle looks like after the candle is blown out” ( Lewis Carroll).
  • transitive v. To take a fancy to; like.
  • transitive v. To suppose; guess.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The imagination; an imagined image.
  • n. A whim.
  • n. Love or amorous attachment.
  • n. Any sport or hobby pursued by a group.
  • n. The enthusiasts of such a pursuit.
  • n. A diamond with a distinctive colour.
  • adj. Decorative.
  • adj. Of a superior grade.
  • adj. Executed with skill.
  • adj. Unnecessarily complicated.
  • v. To appreciate without jealousy or greed.
  • v. would like
  • v. To be sexually attracted to.
  • v. To imagine, suppose.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Adapted to please the fancy or taste, especially when of high quality or unusually appealing; ornamental.
  • adj. Extravagant; above real value.
  • n. The faculty by which the mind forms an image or a representation of anything perceived before; the power of combining and modifying such objects into new pictures or images; the power of readily and happily creating and recalling such objects for the purpose of amusement, wit, or embellishment; imagination.
  • n. An image or representation of anything formed in the mind; conception; thought; idea; conceit.
  • n. An opinion or notion formed without much reflection; caprice; whim; impression.
  • n. Inclination; liking, formed by caprice rather than reason; ; hence, the object of inclination or liking.
  • n. That which pleases or entertains the taste or caprice without much use or value.
  • n. A sort of love song or light impromptu ballad.
  • intransitive v. To figure to one's self; to believe or imagine something without proof.
  • intransitive v. To love.
  • transitive v. To form a conception of; to portray in the mind; to imagine.
  • transitive v. To have a fancy for; to like; to be pleased with, particularly on account of external appearance or manners.
  • transitive v. To believe without sufficient evidence; to imagine (something which is unreal).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The productive imagination, especially as exercised in an unregulated, desultory, or capricious manner; the power or the act of forming in the mind images of unusual, impossible, odd, grotesque, whimsical, etc., combinations of things. See imagination.
  • n. The result or product of an exercise of the fancy; a fanciful image or conception of the mind; a representation in thought, speech, or art of anything ideal or imaginary: as, a pleasing fancy or conceit.
  • n. An idea or opinion formed upon slight grounds or with little consideration; a speculative belief in the possibility or reality of something untried or unknown; an impression, supposition, or notion: as, that's a mere fancy.
  • n. Productive or operative taste; design; invention.
  • n. Inclination; liking; fondness: as, that which suits your fancy.
  • n. Something that pleases or entertains without necessarily having real use or value.
  • n. A short, impromptu musical piece, usually instrumental; a fantasy.
  • n. One of the ornamental tags or aglets attached to the points in the seventeenth century.
  • n. A fancy roller (which see, under II.).
  • n. Any class of people who cultivate a special taste; fanciers collectively.
  • n. Synonyms Fantasy, etc. See fantasy and imagination.
  • n. Conceit.
  • n. Penchant, bias, vagary, whimsey.
  • Involving fancy; of a fanciful or imaginary nature; ideal; illusory; notional; dictated by or dependent on the fancy: as, a fancy portrait; fancy prices; fancy strokes or touches.
  • Fine; elegant; ornamental; adapted to please the taste or fancy (as a trade-epithet); of superfine quality: as, fancy stationery; fancy flour.
  • As commonly used, articles of show and ornament, not including valuable jewelry, but including appliances of dress less useful than ordinary textile materials or garments made of them, as women's collars, ruffles, ties, and the like, and such articles as inkstands, paper-weights, card-receivers, button-hooks, etc., of ornamental design.
  • To form a fancy or an ideal conception of; imagine.
  • To believe with little or no reason; imagine; suppose; presume: as, he fancies that he is ill; I fancy you will fail.
  • To take a fancy to; like; be pleased with.
  • To breed or raise, with reference to pleasing the fancy; produce as a fancier.
  • To have or form a fancy or an ideal conception; believe or suppose without proof; imagine.
  • To love.

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

  • n. something many people believe that is false
  • v. imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind
  • n. a kind of imagination that was held by Coleridge to be more casual and superficial than true imagination
  • n. a predisposition to like something
  • adj. not plain; decorative or ornamented
  • v. have a fancy or particular liking or desire for

Etymologies

From Middle English fantsy, imagination, fantasy, from fantasie; see fantasy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, a contraction of fantasy, from Old French fantasie, from Medieval Latin fantasia, from Late Latin phantasia ("an idea, notion, fancy, phantasm"), from Ancient Greek  (phantazein, "to render visible") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • What the Chinese eat is a mystery, and such queer compounds enter into their _menu_ that I would give everybody who dines with a Chinaman this advice -- don't enquire too minutely into what is placed before you, or you will eat nothing, and so offend your host; bolt it and fancy it is something nice -- and _fancy_ goes for something at times, I can assure you.

    In Eastern Seas Or, the Commission of H.M.S. 'Iron Duke,' flag-ship in China, 1878-83

  • IV. iv.493 (354,2) [and by my fancy] It must be remembered that _fancy_ in this author very often, as in this place, means _love_.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • I did not use the term fancy doctor to be sarcastic.

    18-foot hedges and a motion sensor

  • But the Greeks call it fancy, which signifies appearance, and is as proper to one sense as to another.

    Leviathan

  • But she knew that had she done so — had she so resolved — that which she called her fancy would have been too strong for her.

    Phineas Finn

  • But let me tell you that what you call a fancy has been anything but a fancy with me, to be over like a spring shower.

    The Hand of Ethelberta

  • But she knew that had she done so, — had she so resolved, — that which she called her fancy would have been too strong for her.

    Phineas Finn

  • But she knew that had she done so -- had she so resolved -- that which she called her fancy would have been too strong for her.

    Phineas Finn

  • But she knew that had she done so, -- had she so resolved, -- that which she called her fancy would have been too strong for her.

    Phineas Finn The Irish Member

  • She got what she describes as a fancy education - Barnard and Yale Law - not as a legacy, but by dint of brains and hard work.

    Boston.com Top Stories

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