Guide to Literary Terms Fantasy

Start Your Free Trial

Download Guide to Literary Terms Study Guide

Subscribe Now


Fantasy - extravagant and unrestrained imagination. In writing, it is used to denote a literary work in which the action occurs in a nonexistent and unreal world (such as fairyland) or to a selection that involves incredible characters.

The word is from the Greek phantasia, meaning “making visible” which was derived from phainein, meaning “to show.”

Science fiction and utopian stories are forms of fantasy. Fantasy writers include Lewis Carroll, Ray Bradbury, and H. P. Lovecraft.

see: fable, science fiction

Explore all literary terms.