fancy

\ \ [15] Ultimately, fancy is the same word as fantasy [15], from which it emerged by a process of contraction and gradually became differentiated in meaning. Both go back originally to the Greek verb phaíneinshow’ (source also of English diaphanous and phenomenon). From it was derived phantázeinmake visible’, which produced the noun phantasíāappearance, perception, imagination’ and its associated adjective phantastikósable to make visible’ (and also incidentally phántasma, from which English gets phantasm and phantom). The noun passed into English via Latin phantasia and Old French fantasie, bringing with it the original Greek senses and also some others which it had picked up on the way, including ‘caprice’. The semantic split between fantasy, which has basically taken the road of ‘imagination’, and fancy, which has tended more to ‘capricious preference’, was more or less complete by about 1600. The quasi- Greek spelling phantasy was introduced in the 16th century, and has persisted for the noun, although the contemporary phantastic for the adjective has now died out. The Italian form fantasia was borrowed in the 18th century for a fanciful musical composition. (Fancy and fantasy have no etymological connection with the superficially similar fanatic, incidentally, which comes ultimately from Latin fānumtemple’.)
\ \ Cf.DIAPHANOUS, FANTASY, PANT, PHANTOM

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Fancy — Manfred Alois Segieth (1988) Fancy bei einem Disco Auftritt (1988) Fancy (* 7. Juli …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fancy — Fan cy, a. 1. Adapted to please the fancy or taste, especially when of high quality or unusually appealing; ornamental; as, fancy goods; fancy clothes. [1913 Webster] 2. Extravagant; above real value. [1913 Webster] This anxiety never degenerated …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fancy — [fan′sē] n. pl. fancies [ME fantsy, contr. < fantasie: see FANTASY] 1. imagination, now esp. light, playful, or whimsical imagination 2. illusion or delusion 3. a mental image 4. an arbitrary idea; notion; caprice; whim 5. an …   English World dictionary

  • Fancy — Fan cy (f[a^]n s[y^]), n.; pl. {Fancies}. [Contr. fr. fantasy, OF. fantasie, fantaisie, F. fantaisie, L. phantasia, fr. Gr. ???????? appearance, imagination, the power of perception and presentation in the mind, fr. ???????? to make visible, to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fancy — n 1 Caprice, freak, whim, whimsy, conceit, vagary, crotchet 2 imagination, fantasy Antonyms: experience 3 Fancy, fantasy, phantasy, phantasm, vision, dream, daydream, nightmare are comparable when they denote a vivid idea or image, or a series of …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • 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

  • fancy — [adj] extravagant, ornamental adorned, baroque, beautifying, chichi*, complicated, cushy, custom, decorated, decorative, deluxe, elaborate, elegant, embellished, fanciful, florid, frilly, froufrou*, garnished, gaudy, gingerbread*, intricate,… …   New thesaurus

  • 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

  • Fancy — (engl., spr. Fänßi), Phantasie, daher Fancy Artikel, Modewaaren, verzierte Schmucksachen. Fancy Fair (spr. Fänßisähr), Ausstellung u. Verkauf von weiblichen Handarbeiten zu milden Zwecken …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • 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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