/fan"teuh see, -zee/, n., pl. fantasies, v., fantasied, fantasying.n.1. imagination, esp. when extravagant and unrestrained.2. the forming of mental images, esp. wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing.3. a mental image, esp. when unreal or fantastic; vision: a nightmare fantasy.4. Psychol. an imagined or conjured up sequence fulfilling a psychological need; daydream.5. a hallucination.6. a supposition based on no solid foundation; visionary idea; illusion: dreams of Utopias and similar fantasies.7. caprice; whim.8. an ingenious or fanciful thought, design, or invention.9. Also, fantasia. Literature. an imaginative or fanciful work, esp. one dealing with supernatural or unnatural events or characters: The stories of Poe are fantasies of horror.10. Music. fantasia (def. 1).v.t., v.i.11. to form mental images; imagine; fantasize.12. Rare. to write or play fantasias.Also, phantasy.[1275-1325; ME fantasie imaginative faculty, mental image ( < AF, OF) < L phantasia < Gk phantasía an idea, notion, image, lit., a making visible; see FANTASTIC, -Y3]
* * *Mental images or imaginary narratives that distort or entirely depart from reality.Primary fantasies arise spontaneously from the unconscious, while secondary fantasies are consciously summoned and pursued. Sigmund Freud saw fantasy as a vehicle for the expression of repressed desires (see repression). Fantasy is important in the lives of children and is a vital element in play. In adult life it is crucial to creative thinking and the making of art. Fantasy can become destructive if it serves as a constant refuge from the world of reality and a source of delusions.
* * *also spelled phantasyimaginative fiction dependent for effect on strangeness of setting (such as other worlds or times) and of characters (such as supernatural or unnatural beings). Examples include William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and T.H. White's The Once and Future King. science fiction can be seen as a form of fantasy, but the terms are not interchangeable, as science fiction usually is set in the future and is based on some aspect of science or technology, while fantasy is set in an imaginary world and features the magic of mythical beings.
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