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Definition of "phantasm" [phan•tasm]

  • Something apparently seen but having no physical reality; a phantom or an apparition. Also called phantasma. (noun)
  • An illusory mental image. Also called phantasma. (noun)
  • In Platonic philosophy, objective reality as perceived and distorted by the five senses. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "phantasm" in a sentence
  • "All these we have included under the term phantasm; a word which, though etymologically a mere variant of phantom, has been less often used, and has not become so closely identified with visual impressions alone."
  • "But I prefer to use the word phantasm as hinting the indefiniteness into which the Soul spills itself when it seeks to communicate with Matter, finding no possibility of delimiting it, neither encompassing it nor able to penetrate to any fixed point of it, either of which achievements would be an act of delimitation."
  • "But visions and dreams, whether natural or supernatural, are but phantasms: and he that painteth an image of any of them, maketh not an image of God, but of his own phantasm, which is making of an idol."