Meaning of “fantasy” in the English Dictionary

"fantasy" in British English

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fantasynoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈfæn.tə.si/ us /ˈfæn.tə.si/

B2 a pleasant situation that you enjoy thinking about but is unlikely to happen, or the activity of imagining things like this:

Steve's favourite fantasy was to own a big house and a flashy car.
sexual fantasies
She retreated into a fantasy world, where she could be anything she wanted.

a story or type of literature that describes situations that are very different from real life, usually involving magic:

His preferred reading was horror stories and fantasy.

More examples

  • Halfway through the film reality evaporates and we enter a world of pure fantasy.
  • As a child, she frequently withdrew into her own fantasy world.
  • His latest film has been condemned as the priapic fantasies of an old man.
  • In the psychotherapy group, patients were free to play out their fantasies.
  • The result is a decidedly mixed bag of campy humor, wild-eyed fantasy and high-tech special effects.

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

"fantasy" in American English

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fantasynoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈfæn·tə·si/

a pleasant but unlikely situation that you enjoy thinking about, or the activity of thinking in this way:

[ C ] Writing songs was just a fantasy of mine.
[ U ] She retreated from life into a world of fantasy.

literature Fantasy is imaginative literature, often set in strange places with unusual characters and the use of magic.

fantasize
verb [ I ] us /ˈfænt·əˌsɑɪz/

He fantasized about winning the Nobel Prize.

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