V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. characterized by imagination and whimsy--fanciful; 2. playful or odd, especially in an endearing way; 3. unpredictable

Synonyms: playful, amusing, fanciful, capricious, erratic, unpredictable, uncertain, unusual, weird, frivolous

Antonyms: predictable, rational, reasonable

Tips: Whimsical is formed from the archaic word whim-wham, which was a frivolous kind of knickknack, usually bought on an impulse. The related noun whim refers to an impulse. Whimsical is often a compliment used to describe a person who is carefree and makes decisions on impulse. Note that there are three different definitions for whimsical: "fanciful," "amusing," and "erratic." For the most part, whimsical is a compliment. Whimsical is synonymous with capricious. Both words can be used to describe a person who is unpredictable and given to make sudden and unpredictable decisions. This is the only definition for capricious, while whimsical has evolved to have different and more endearing meanings and applications.

Usage Examples:

The whimsical art on the doctor's office walls took my mind off my appointment. (amusing, unusual, weird)

The orange boots that Judy bought were a whimsical purchase. (playful, frivolous)

Shakespeare's "A Mid-Summer Night's Dream" is a whimsical play. (fanciful, amusing)

I booked my trip to the Caribbean on a whim, even though I hadn't planned on going on vacation. (impulse) noun

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