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English citations of fabulous

Adjective: pertaining to fables[edit]

1663 1799 1810 1951
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  • 1663, John Selden, Mare Clausum: The Right and Dominion of the Sea in Two Books, page 47
    But in applying our ſelvs unto the fabulous Age, wee do not ground Arguments upon Fables, as they are meer Fables.
  • 1799, Ralph Griffiths, G. E. Griffiths, The Monthly Review, Or, Literary Journal, page 475
    Such, indisputably, is the force of imagination ; and such is the ardour with which the natives of the East enter into fabulous recitals.
  • 1810, The New and Complete American Encyclopædia, page 118
    MYTHOLOGY, in its original import, signifies any kind of fabulous doctrine
  • 1951, Charles E. Raven, Natural Religion and Christian Theology: Volume 1, Science and Religion: The Gifford Lectures 1951, Cambridge University Press →ISBN, page 56
    In this way the great flood of fabulous lore gathered during a thousand and more years was drawn off from the fields of natural history
  • 1997, O. B. Hardison, Poetics and Praxis, Understanding and Imagination: The Collected Essays of O.B. Hardison, Jr, University of Georgia Press →ISBN, page 31
    These are called proverbial tales and exempla like those found in the book by Aesop and similar fabulous writings.

Adjective: marvelous; incredible; extraordinary[edit]

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  • 1854, John Reynell Morell, Algeria: The Topography and History, Political, Social, and Natural, of French Africa, page 325
    All that remains to the modern Moors of constancy. Yet these men are the offspring of those who filled Spain with monuments of fabulous beauty, and who lighted up the torch of the sciences when the world was plunged in night.
  • 1865, Samuel Jackson GARDNER, Autumn Leaves, page 97
    In this way he is reported to have very recently augmented his power of raising with his hands weights from nine hundred and twenty-nine to ten hundred and thirty-two pounds,—-almost a fabulous achievement for anybody, and especially for one said to be only twenty five years of age.
  • 1885, The Medical Age
    The fees for surgical operations are simply fabulous
  • 2006, Robert Stainton, Words and Thoughts : Subsentences, Ellipsis, and the Philosophy of Language: Subsentences, Ellipsis, and the Philosophy of Language, Clarendon Press →ISBN, page 210
    Arriving at an interpretation of the speaker would end up being a fabulous stroke of luck. It's just not credible that interpretation works like this.
  • 2009, Through It All, He Was There, Xulon Press →ISBN, page 48
    We joined hands and prayed a prayer of thanksgiving to our God for this fabulous accomplishment.

Adjective: fictional; made-up[edit]

1571 1610
1788 1832
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  • 1571, Pedro Mexía, George Steevens, Silva de Varia Lecion, page 1
    Pline in like mãner reckeneth it fabulous, that any in the first Age ſhoulde live ſo many dayes
  • 1610, "J.H.", translating Saint Augustine (Bishop of Hippo.), St. Augustine of the Citie of God, page 245
    Therefore neither your fabulous divinity nor your politique can give you everlasting life.
  • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy
    For it is a part of their policy to let no man comment, dare to dispute or call in question to this day any part of it, be it never so absurd, incredible, ridiculous, fabulous as it is, must be believed implicite, upon pain of death no man must dare to contradict it, "God and Emperor", &c.
  • 1788, The Edinburgh magazine, or Literary miscellany, page 284
    But those tales and legends, which we justly reject as fabulous, spring from a different source ; they proceed not from vanity and imposture, but from wonder, ignorance, enthusiasm, and superstition.
  • 1832, Samuel Astley Dunham, Spain and Portugal, page 57
    The exploits of Otgar and his nine companions, who are said to have made considerable conquests in the Tarraconensian province, or the country lying between the Ebro and the Pyrenees, prior to the irruption ' of Charlemagne in 778 , are evidently fabulous.
  • 1839, Lord Alexander Fraser Tytler Woodhouselee, Edward Nares, Universal history: from the creation of the world to the decease of George III, 1820, page 137
    From such and similar considerations, some critics have gone so far as to reject as entirely fabulous the whole history of those first five hundred years of the Roman story : but this is to push the skeptical spirit greatly too far.
  • 1923, North Staffordshire Field Club, Annual Report and Transactions
    I remember to have something of a fabulous report spread at Aston, after I left it, of my being a spy but I hope it never went down with yu or any other judicious person in that neighbourhood that knew me.

Adjective: known for telling fables or falsehoods[edit]

1583 1621
1711 1811
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  • 1583, William Fulke, A defense of the sincere and true translations of the holie Scriptures, page 44
    But where the Censurer reporteth, that I should call Bede a fabulous man, he is not able to bring any proofe thereof
  • 1621, Peter Heylyn, Microcosmus, Or, A Little Description of the Great World: A Treatise Historicall, Geographicall, Politicall, Theologicall, page 49
    Inſomuch as the fame hereof incited forreiners to make an entrie into this Country, or lastly of Pyrene a-Nymph, the daughter of one Bebrix, supposed by ſome fabulous writers to have beene here ravished by Hercules.
  • 1688, translation of Ratramnus (monk of Corbie), Bertram Or Ratram Concerning the Body and Blood of the Lord, in Latin: With a New English Trans., page 495
    But Thirdly, not to ſtand expoſing the Falſhood and lmpudence of these fained Apparitions, or rather of their Fabulous Author , (h) they 'all prove too much, or elſe just nothing.
  • 1711, translation of Plutarch, Plutarch's Lives, page 445
    But I do not wonder that such a fabulous and bumbast Author as Heraclides should foist into the Truth of the Story such high-flown Words as Hyperborean and Ocean.
  • 1811, William Robertson, The History of Scotland, During the Reigns of Queen Mary and of King James VI.: Until His Accession to the Crown of England: with a Review of the Scottish History Previous to that Period: and an Appendix Containing Original Papers, page 145
    At length, Kenneth II. the sixty-ninth king of the Scots, (according to their own fabulous authors) obtained a complete victory over the Picts, and united under one monarchy the whole country from the wall of Adrian to the northern ocean.
  • 1829, Sir Walter Raleigh, The Works of Sir Walter Ralegh, Kt: Now First Collected : to which are Prefixed The Lives of the Author, by Oldys and Birch, page 268
    Against the fabulous Berosus's fiction, that the Italian Janus was Noah.
  • 1837, John POTTER (successively Bishop of Oxford and Archbishop of Canterbury.), James BOYD (LL.D.), Archæologia Græca ... New edition; with a life of the author, by R. Anderson, and an appendix ... by G. Dunbar, page 428
    He was son to the primitive god Uranus, and from his knowledge of the celestial motions is sometimes taken by the poets and other fabulous authors for the father of the sun, sometimes for the sun himself.
  • 1994, Michael Barry Miller, Shanghai on the Métro: Spies, Intrigue, and the French Between the Wars, Univ of California Press →ISBN, page 252
    He was, as the undercover agent concluded, a fabulous raconteur or, as one other person summed him up, "a monumental fakir and liar."

Adjective: very good; wonderful[edit]

1899 1939 2000
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  • 1899, Sketch: A Journal of Art and Actuality
    He is installed in a fabulous house at Paris with his daughter, who wears a Greek peplum, and here they are served by innumerable white, Mulatto, and black servants in liveries of gorgeous red and gold.
  • 1939, Federal Writers Project, Florida: A Guide To The Southern Most State: A Guide to the Southernmost State, Somerset Publishers, Inc. →ISBN, page 168
    These beliefs were dispelled when, after the owner's death, Viscaya became a public museum for a short period and was opened for inspection; but what the estate lacked in mystery was more than made up for in splendor, for here was the realization of a multi-millionaire bachelor's dream — a fabulous home in fabulous gardens.
  • 2000, Joann Faung Jean Lee, Asian American Actors: Oral Histories from Stage, Screen, and Television, McFarland →ISBN, page 34
    Otherwise you're going to get a Wayne Wang film or a Spike Lee film where once in a while a minority script comes out that's fabulous and people say, Yeah. The Last Emperor was great and Waiting to Exhale was great and The Joy Luck Club was fabulous but they've come and gone.
  • 2010, Rex Lee Reynolds, A Simple Guide to Fabulous Photography, Michael Williams →ISBN, page 14
    But in looking at a lot of photos people take we often notice that what is an obscure shot of a subject could have been a fabulous photo if the person taking the shot had only got closer to the subject.

Adjective: gay[edit]

ME « 15th c. 16th c. 17th c. 18th c. 19th c. 20th c. 21st c.
  • 1956, "Ben", quoted in, Marc Stein, City Of Sisterly And Brotherly Loves: Lesbian And Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972, Temple University Press →ISBN, page 115
    Ben told the group that his "great ambition" was to be "the most fabulous faggot in the land."
    "Tom," who was " 'married' to a wealthy young physician," was "equally emphatic about his intention to remain a homosexual"
  • 1995, David Bell, Gill Valentine, Mapping Desire: Geographies of Sexualities, Psychology Press →ISBN, page 14
    Of course, a Pride march—or at least one where anti-fabulous rulings don't apply—is important in that it creates an erotic ludic topography along its route.
  • 2006 June 9, Mark K. Bilbo, “Re: Losers”, in alt.atheism, Usenet[1]:
    Barbie is going to be very disappointed to discover Ken is fabulous...
  • 2006, Jon Jackson, "Frozen in the closet", The Advocate
    Why don't those fabulous Olympic figure skaters come out?
  • 2015 June 24, Tina Ngyuen, “SCOTUS MADNESS: A Guide to the Gay Marriage Cases”, in Vanity Fair[2]:
    Of the cases pending on the docket, two will cause the biggest meltdowns. Here, we examine the most fabulous case.

Adjective: camp; effeminate[edit]

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  • 2005, Dwight McBride, Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch: Essays On Race and Sexuality →ISBN:
    Just like the rationale for a show on national television about five fabulous gay men who provide a valuable makeover service to heterosexual men (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), [...]
  • 2013 May 9, “What Happened When My Son Came Out... as Straight”, in Huffington Post[3]:
    Michael was totally fabulous, slightly effeminate and possibly gay at a time and in a place where it wasn't discussed, let alone embraced.
  • 2015 June 15, Molly Gilmore, “Capital City Pride blends activism, family fun, dash of glitter”, in The Olympian[4]:
    We have everything you’d expect from a small-city parade — except a lot more fabulous, with rainbows and glitter.
  • 2015 March 25, Sarah Dean, “Transvestite on The Jeremy Kyle Show has world’s most glamorous cry face”, in Metro[5]:
    This could be Jeremy Kyle’s most fabulous guest yet. Glam Sam, a transvestite desperate to be accepted by her father, said she felt ashamed of herself on the show because of her cross dressing.

Adjective: fashionable; glamorous[edit]

1960 2010
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  • 1960 April 4, advert for "Angel Face" in LIFE, page 117
    Now you can make fashion's most fabulous colors your most flattering colors!
  • 2010, Clinton Kelly, Oh No She Didn't: The Top 100 Style Mistakes Women Make and How to Avoid Them, Simon and Schuster →ISBN
    What's not fabulous is walking down the street in 2011 looking as though you just time-traveled from 1942. Vintage must fit. It must be in like-brand-new condition, and it must be made to look relevant through pairings with modern clothes.
  • 2012 November 21, Georgia May Jagger, quoted by Bianca London, "'Cara Delevingne is a tomboy and not very fabulous at all': Georgia May Jagger on model friendships and being dressed by Vivienne Westwood at just seven", Daily Mail
    Cara's a massive tomboy... And not very fabulous at all! I mean, obviously she is, but I see her in a completely different way.
    I know her as a she really is, which is funny and wearing, oh, some kind of jumpsuit.
  • 2012, Marianne Levy, Ellie May Would Like To Be Taken Seriously For A Change, Egmont UK →ISBN
    Her outfit was totally fabulous and totally fashionable and totally, totally wrong. Worse than wrong. It looked weird and bad and embarrassing.