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fan·tas·tic (făn-tăstĭk) also fan·tas·ti·cal (-tĭ-kəl)
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adj.
1.
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).
2.
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.
n.
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·tasti·cali·ty (-tĭ-kălĭ-tē) n.
fan·tasti·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.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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