FANCY, as a noun, is an old contraction of the word 'fantasy'. It suggests an imagining or dream unrestrained by reality but spurred by desires, or a feeling of like or attraction. It can most commonly name something that:

1. isn't real; something that you only imagine or dream about, esp. of a capricious or delusive sort. Flying pigs aren't real, they're just animals of fancy.

"Was it only his fancy, or was there someone watching him?"

It's often used in the phrase 'flights of fancy', referring to an unrealistic goal or idea. Are you prone to flights of fancy?

"She has flights of fancy about becoming a movie star."

2. the power of conception and representation used in artistic expression; something invented by the mind; imagination of an extreme or unpredictable nature, whose creations are casual, whimsical, and often amusing. 

"The avant-garde sculptor created bizarre objects of his fancy."
"I like the way she lets her impish fancy play freely on a subject." 

3. a superficial or transient feeling of attraction; a liking or desire for someone or something, esp. one that isn't very strong or serious and doesn't last long; a whim: a passing fancy. 

"She did not suspect that his interest was just a passing fancy."
"This was no passing fancy, but a feeling he would live by."

All in all, the usage of 'fancy' as a noun is probably the least common of its other usages; more common in BrE, and, overall, a bit dated, except for a few phrases, such as:

TAKE A FANCY TO SOMEBODY (esp. BrE) means suddenly start to like someone, often without an obvious reason. If you have a crush on someone, you could say that you took a fancy to them.

"I think Sam really took a fancy to you!"
"He's taken quite a fancy to his next-door neighbour."

TAKE A FANCY TO/HAVE A FANCY FOR SOMETHING can also mean to want to have or do something; have a liking formed by caprice rather than reason. You might have a fancy for pork boiled in milk, with celery and oranges all of a sudden. 

"Takin' a fancy to it, eh?"
"I can make you ham and eggs if you have a fancy for that."

TAKE/CATCH/TICKLE ONE'S FANCY, (AmE) STRIKE ONE'S FANCY means to attract, please or amuse somebody. You can experiment with any sauce or vegetable that strikes your fancy.

"I looked at quite a few dresses, but nothing really took my fancy."
"She looked through the hotel ads until one of them caught her fancy."

If something takes or catches your fancy, you start to like it, or you want to have or do it.

"See if any of these strike your fancy." 
"If you see something that tickles your fancy, I’ll buy it for you."

AS/WHERE/WHEREVER/WHEN(EVER) THE FANCY TAKES ONE as/whenever, etc. you feel like doing something.

"We bought a camper van so we could go away whenever the fancy took us."

New of label : Vocabulary

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