fancy


fancy
fanciness, n.
/fan"see/, n., pl. fancies, adj., fancier, fanciest, v., fancied, fancying, interj.
n.
1. imagination or fantasy, esp. 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.
9. love.
10. the fancy, Archaic. people deeply interested in a sport, art, etc.
adj.
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.
v.t.
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. fancy up, to make superficially showy by way of improvement: an old car fancied up with a bright new paint job.
21. (used as an exclamation of mild surprise): They invited you, too? Fancy!
[1350-1400; ME fan(t)sy, syncopated var. of fantasie FANTASY]
Syn. 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.

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      the power of conception and representation in artistic expression (such as through the use of figures of speech by a poet). The term is sometimes used as a synonym for imagination, especially in the sense of the power of conceiving and giving artistic form to that which is not existent, known, or experienced. When the term fancy is treated as a synonym of conceit, it is defined as the conceiving power that concerns itself with imagery, such as figures of speech and details of a decorative design.

      The concepts of fancy and imagination have always been closely related, but at least since the Middle Ages distinctions have been made between the two. In some countries, such as Italy and Germany, fancy was associated with creativity and was considered a higher or greater quality than imagination. In England, John Dryden (Dryden, John), Sir Joshua Reynolds (Reynolds, Sir Joshua), David Hume (Hume, David), and others set forth views of the differences, generally giving imagination a broader and more important role than fancy. For most, however, the terms were virtually synonymous until the Romantic period of the late 18th and early 19th century, when Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Coleridge, Samuel Taylor) stated the theory that has had the most lasting influence. According to Coleridge, imagination is the faculty associated with creativity and the power to shape and unify, while fancy, dependent on and inferior to imagination, is merely “associative.”

      The word is from the Middle English fantsy, meaning “imagination” or “mental image,” which is ultimately from the Greek phantázein, meaning “to make visible” or “present to the mind.”

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • fancy — ► VERB (fancies, fancied) 1) Brit. informal feel a desire for. 2) Brit. informal find sexually attractive. 3) regard as a likely winner. 4) imagine. 5) used to express surprise: fancy that! …   English terms dictionary

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  • Fancy — Fan cy, v. t. 1. To form a conception of; to portray in the mind; to imagine. [1913 Webster] He whom I fancy, but can ne er express. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. To have a fancy for; to like; to be pleased with, particularly on account of external… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fancy —   [ fænsɪ; englisch, eigentlich »Fantasie«],    1) die, / s, Musik: Fantasy [ fæntəsɪ], die der Geschichte der musikalischen Fantasie zugehörige Hauptform der englischen Kammermusik von etwa 1575 bis 1680. Sie entwickelte sich aus dem… …   Universal-Lexikon

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  • Fancy — Fan cy, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Fancied}, p. pr. & vb. n. {Fancying}.] 1. To figure to one s self; to believe or imagine something without proof. [1913 Webster] If our search has reached no farther than simile and metaphor, we rather fancy than know …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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