Meaning of “fancy” in the English Dictionary

"fancy" in English

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uk /ˈfæ us /ˈfæ

fancy verb (LIKE)

B1 [ T ] UK to want to have or do something:

Do you fancy a drink this evening?
[ + -ing verb ] I didn't fancy swimming in that water.

B2 [ T ] UK informal to be sexually attracted to someone:

He could tell she fancied him.
fancy yourself UK disapproving

to think you are very attractive or important:

That Dave really fancies himself, doesn't he?

More examples

fancy verb (IMAGINE)

[ I or T ] UK to imagine or think that something is so:

He fancies himself as a bit of a singer.
[ + to infinitive ] Who do you fancy to win the Cup this year?
[ + (that) ] literary I fancied (that) I saw something moving in the corner.
old-fashioned This isn't the first time this has happened, I fancy.
fancy! C2 old-fashioned

an expression of surprise:

Fancy seeing you here!
"They have eight children." "Fancy that (= how surprising)!"


uk /ˈfæ us /ˈfæ


uk /ˈfæ us /ˈfæ


passing fancy

something that you like very much for a short period:

But for me, parachuting was no passing fancy.
take a fancy to sth/sb

to start liking something or someone very much:

Laura's taken a fancy to Japanese food.
take/tickle your fancy informal US strike your fancy

If something takes/tickles your fancy, you like it and want to have or do it:

I looked in a lot of clothes shops but nothing really tickled my fancy.
She has enough money to buy anything that strikes her fancy.

Thesaurus: synonyms and related words

(Definition of “fancy” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"fancy" in American English

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fancyadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /ˈfæn·si/

fancy adjective [ -er/-est only ] (DECORATIVE)

decorative or complicated, or (of restaurants, stores, or hotels) expensive:

I wanted a simple black dress, nothing fancy.
a fancy hotel

fancynoun [ U ]

us /ˈfæn·si/

something that you like very much:

What's your fancy?

fancyverb [ T ]

us /ˈfæn·si/

fancy verb [ T ] (IMAGINE)

to imagine or think that something is so:

When she was young she fancied herself a rebel.

fancy verb [ T ] (LIKE)

to like or wish for:

There are two things he fancies – fast cars and thunderous music.

(Definition of “fancy” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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Competition can support legislative differences and it is pure fancy to seek a total uniformity which virtually amounts to a fossilising of the law.
I have a fundamental difference of opinion, therefore, with those behind me who have said that it is nothing but nonsense and flights of fancy.