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n. pl. phan·tas·ma·ta (-mə-tə)

[Ultimately from Greek phantasma; see phantasm.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈfæn tæz əm)

1. an apparition or specter.
2. a creation of the imagination or fancy; fantasy.
3. a mental image or representation of a real object.
4. an illusory likeness of something.
[1175–1225; Middle English fantesme < Old French < Latin phantasma < Greek phántasma image, vision]
phan•tas′mal, phan•tas′mic, phan•tas′mi•cal, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.phantasma - a ghostly appearing figurephantasma - a ghostly appearing figure; "we were unprepared for the apparition that confronted us"
disembodied spirit, spirit - any incorporeal supernatural being that can become visible (or audible) to human beings
Flying Dutchman - the captain of a phantom ship (the Flying Dutchman) who was condemned to sail against the wind until Judgment Day
2.phantasma - something existing in perception onlyphantasma - something existing in perception only; "a ghostly apparition at midnight"
flying saucer, UFO, unidentified flying object - an (apparently) flying object whose nature is unknown; especially those considered to have extraterrestrial origins
Flying Dutchman - a phantom ship that is said to appear in storms near the Cape of Good Hope
ghost, specter, wraith, spectre, spook, shade - a mental representation of some haunting experience; "he looked like he had seen a ghost"; "it aroused specters from his past"
illusion, semblance - an erroneous mental representation
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. A supernatural being, such as a ghost:
Informal: spook.
Regional: haunt.
2. An illusory mental image:
3. An erroneous perception of reality:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The dream about the drowning woman and baby the protagonist is unable to rescue is taken from the unpublished Tarbaby and is perhaps the echo of personal phantasma similar to those depicted in Black Boy.
Suparna Roychoudhury, "Melancholy, Ecstasy, Phantasma: The
(19) El Diccionario de Autoridades tambien registra otro significado de la voz 'phantasma: "Dicese de cualquiera figura extrana y que pone miedo.
As expected, the Phantom counters with a higher offer for Christine to perform in his Coney Island revue "Phantasma." The Phantom is also intrigued by Christine's musically gifted son, Gustave (Cary native Casey Lyons and Jake Heston Miller alternate in the role).
Freud's concept of Phantasma succeeded in crediting the psychological reality of memories regardless of their factuality, but was also highly influential in establishing psychotherapy as a practice of confronting (as opposed to escaping) reality.
Alternative words in modern usage include spectre (from Latin spectrum), the Scottish wraith (of obscure origin), phantom (via French, ultimately from Greek phantasma), and apparition.
(1) Joan Ramon Resina's "A Spectre is Haunting Spain" argues that domestic threats to unity posed by the peninsula's various territories--specifically, Euskadi and Catalonia--inspired the Generation of '98 to evoke the phantasma of Castile as embodiment of Spain.
Through a careful analysis of Aquinas's use of the terms similitudo and phantasma, the author presents a good case for taking imaginative phantasms not as inner images with which we are directly and introspectively acquainted, but rather as a kind of residue of acts of sensation already completed.
La peculiaridad de este don es la purificacion de los conceptos sobre Dios (phantasma) y establecer un orden en el conocimiento.