As an adjective, fancy means 'something that is expensive or sophisticated,' or 'something that is elaborately decorated.' As a verb, fancy is mainly used in British English and means 'to like or want something' or 'to imagine or picture something.' Another meaning that you find mostly in British English is 'to find someone attractive.'
He has enough money and likes to eat in fancy restaurants and stay in fancy hotels.
We had a plate of fancy cheeses after the meal.
Her wedding dress had fancy pink ribbons.
Fancytraveling the world and getting paid for it!
Do you fancy a cup of tea? I'm about to make one.
I really fancy him; hopefully he will notice me.
Words often used with fancy
fancy that! (interjection): expresses surprise or disbelief
fancy dress: In the UK, this means 'a costume.' At British universities, students love to have fancy dress parties, though we would normally call these costume parties in the US.
Fancy has other meanings as a noun and as an interjection. Check out the full definition for more information!
Did you know?
The verb meanings of 'to like or want' or 'to imagine or picture' exist in American English, but are rarely used. However, they are very common in British English. You will often hear British people saying things like "I really fancy some chocolate" or "Do you fancy going to the cinema tonight?" You also probably won't hear an American say they fancy another person, but British people say that to mean they find someone attractive "My friend fancies Brad Pitt, but I think Johnny Depp is better looking." In the US, we might use like to mean the same thing. Example: "Why do you keep on staring at José? Do you like him?"
fanciness (noun), fancily (adverb)
Fancy dates from the second half of the 14th century and comes from the Middle English word fansy or fantsy, which was a shorter version of fantasie or fantasy.