Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


 (făn-tăs′tĭk) also fan·tas·ti·cal (-tĭ-kəl)
a. Based on or existing only in fantasy; unreal: fantastic mythological creatures; the fantastic realms of science fiction.
b. Strange or fanciful in form, conception, or appearance: "The fire assumed fantastic shapes as he watched" (Ward Just).
a. Unrealistic; irrational: "the early jubilant years of the Restoration with their fantastic hopes of a Golden Age and incorruptible power" (Janet Todd).
b. Exceedingly great in size or degree; extravagant: a fantastic sum of money.
3. Wonderful or superb; remarkable: a fantastic trip to Europe.
An eccentric person.

[Middle English fantastik, imagined, from Old French fantastique, from Late Latin phantasticus, imaginary, from Greek phantastikos, able to create mental images, from phantazesthai, to appear; see fantasy.]

fan·tas′ti·cal′i·ty (-tĭ-kăl′ĭ-tē) n.
fan·tas′ti·cal·ly adv.
Synonyms: fantastic, bizarre, grotesque, fanciful, exotic
These adjectives apply to what is very strange or strikingly unusual. Fantastic describes what seems to have slight relation to the real world because of its strangeness or extravagance: fantastic imaginary beasts such as the unicorn. Bizarre stresses oddness that is heightened by striking contrasts and incongruities and that shocks or fascinates: "a bizarre array of bellbottoms, floral shirts, shoes with brass buckles, white belts, orange hot pants, and miniskirts" (James S. Hirsch).
Grotesque refers principally to deformity and distortion, often of a ludicrous or repulsive nature: statues of grotesque, misshapen creatures. Fanciful applies to what is strongly influenced by imagination, caprice, or whimsy: "folksingers telling old tales in fanciful masks, wigs and costumes" (Anchee Min).
Something exotic is unusual and intriguing: painted landscapes in exotic colors.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
The smooth richness of their diction; the amiable sweetness of their mood, their gracious caprice, the delicacy of their satire (which was so kind that it should have some other name), their abundance of light and color, and the deep heart of humanity underlying their airiest fantasticality, all united in an effect which was different from any I had yet known.
At this point, "nothing happened" has come to represent both a cover for violent diegetic action (often via Eli) and a confession of its never-actualized fantasticality (often via Oskar).
After a year on the campaign trail, Trump still hasn't really got beyond his own fantasticality as the basis of his policy agenda.