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phantasy (plural phantasies)

  1. Dated form of fantasy.
    • 1931 November–December, H. P. Lovecraft, The Shadow Over Innsmouth:
      [] what man has hitherto known only in febrile phantasy and tenuous legend?
  2. (psychology) The innate, mental image of an object; the link between instinct and reality.
    • 1987, Juliet Mitchell, “Introduction”, in Selected Melanie Klein, →ISBN, page 22:
      By later Kleinians and critics alike, phantasy is often seen as identical to Freud's concept of psychic reality.
    • 2013, Lene Austed, quoting Jonathan Davidoff, “Introducing Psychoanalysis and Politics”, in Nationalism and the Body Politic, →ISBN, page 262:
      However, Klein's phantasy is not exactly Lacan's imaginary fantasy; it is, I think, more than that.

Usage notes[edit]

In psychological writing, the spelling phantasy is often used to differentiate the Kleinian concept, which represents an innate unconscious process, from the related Freudian concept fantasy, which is conscious and deliberate.[1]


  1. ^ Joseph Sandler; Anne-Marie Sandler (1998) Internal Objects Revisited, page xii