Word of The Month: Chimerical

David Zapatka

Have you ever had fanciful thoughts, found your imagination running on the wild side or had a fleeting thought that you knew was simply unrealistic? You may have been what’s called chimerical, this month’s word of the month.

Chimerical – adjective chi·me·ri·cal kī-‘mer-i-k’l, k’-, -‘mir-

Definition – imaginary, fantastic, unreal, absurd, impossible; indulging in unrealistic fancies; visionary; wildly fanciful; existing only as the product of unchecked imagination. First known use – 1638. Chimerical was widely used in the English language for centuries but has been losing popularity rapidly over the past 100 years. Etymology – from “chimera”, from Latin “chimaera,” from Ancient Greek χίμαιρα. A “Chimera” was the name of a fire-breathing creature in Greek mythology that is part goat, part lion and part serpent. The Greek term chimaira means “she-goat.”

Checking the Urban Dictionary, chimerical means amazing or fantastic, special, very cool or unexpected.

Chimerical used in sentences:

* None of these dangers was chimerical. A Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne.

* This time, was it not really the old malady of chimerical fancies? Very Woman by Remy de Gourmont.

* To keep it from his daughter till she should be stronger, seemed to him chimerical, impossible. A Simpleton by Charles Reade

* Both these parts are essential, nor is the distinction vain and chimerical. A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume.

* According to the auditor’s review, the company described by the accountant is nothing but a chimerical firm that has been used to launder stolen funds.

* Jenee’ has decided to attend the Halloween party dressed as the chimerical creature known as the unicorn.

In poetry:

Let life grow richer by its cost to me,

Till hope, too strong for dream of weak despair,

Seize each momentous goal;

No monster of chimeric mystery,

Or fabled horror with its deathful stare,

Palsy my dauntless soul.

“Usury” by Albert Durrant Watson

Chimeric colors are colors which do not appear within the color space of human vision. There are three types – hyperbolic, luminous and stygian. These colors can be “seen” by some people using a specialized method of staring at a symbol imbedded in a color then having the color change. The mind picks up on a color seemingly nonexistent. This is a natural process called color fatigue. An example would be pitch-black blue, a color that seems impossible. If interested, search for “chimeric colors” online. You will find sites that will illustrate the principle.

Want to share your chimeric thoughts and visions with our readers? Please email these and any word you may like to share, along with your insights and comments, to [email protected]