flight of fancy


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flight of fancy (plural flights of fancy)

  1. (idiomatic) An idea, narrative, suggestion, etc., which is extremely imaginative and which appears to be entirely unrealistic, untrue, or impractical; thinking which is very speculative.
    Synonyms: daydream, reverie
    • 1704, [Jonathan Swift], “Section VIII”, in A Tale of a Tub. [], London: Printed for John Nutt, [], OCLC 752990886, page 154:
      And, whereas the mind of Man, when he gives the Spur and Bridle to his Thoughts, doth never ſtop, but naturally ſallies out into both extreams of High and Low, of Good and Evil, his first Flight of Fancy commonly tranſports Him to Idea's of what is moſt Perfect, finiſhed, and exalted; [...]
    • 1848, Charles Dickens, chapter 1, in The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain:
      Who might not, by a very easy flight of fancy, have believed that everything about him took this haunted tone, and that he lived on haunted ground?
    • 1939, "Canadian Secrecy," Time, 20 Nov.,
      No German troops were mobilized along Canada's border last week, no Canadian cities had been bombed, and only by the remotest flight of fancy could alarmists see the Dominion as a battleground.

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