Flight of Fancy

Meaning of Flight of Fancy Idiom

A flight of fancy, used as a noun, is a very imaginative but unrealistic or fantastic idea. This idiom is similar to a ‘pipe dream’ but with a greater connotation of fantasy. Whereas a pipe dream may be a practical notion that nonetheless seems impossible, a flight of fancy is based on pure imagination, existing only in the mind, making it more akin to a pie in the sky notion.

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Examples Of Use

“His dreams of space were pure flight of fancy.”

“Robert was always prone to flights of fancy, no wonder he got into advertising.”

“Many of the supposed origins of English idioms turn out to be nothing more than flights of fancy, no matter how plausible they may seem at first glance.”

“They dismissed his warning as a flight of fancy, but now we know that pandemics of this sort can and will happen.”


The word fancy, as a verb, means to imagine, suppose, or believe without substantial reasons, or just to think or believe. A flight of fancy, then, alludes to unrestrained imagination or beliefs. This idiom has existed in English since at least the late 1700’s.

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