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I recently saw this word used in a Android SE post and at first I thought the user misspelt the word but actually I found that a word "phantastic" exists.

The phantastic meaning of yourdictionary website tells its the dated version of the word fantastic.

phantastic - Adjective (comparative more phantastic, superlative most phantastic)

I couldn't properly understand when we should actually use the word. Can someone show some examples of the usage of the word. What does a dated form of a word mean?

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    Fantastic: "the form phantastic is no longer generally current, but has been casually used by a few writers of the 19th c., to suggest associations connected with the Gr. etymology. "eyegiene.sdsu.edu/2006/fall/220/seduce/fantasticOED.pdf – user66974 Jul 22 '15 at 14:57
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    Ph : now in English usually representing "f," originally it was the combination used by Romans to represent Greek letter phi . Roman "f," like modern English "f," was dentilabial; by c. 400, however, the sounds had become identical and in some Romanic languages (Italian, Spanish), -ph- regularly was replaced by -f-. but with the revival of classical learning the words subsequently were altere back to -ph- (except fancy and fantastic), and due to zealousness in this some non-Greek words in -f- began to appear confusedly in -ph-, though these forms generally have not survived. – user66974 Jul 22 '15 at 15:06
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Phantastic is an outdated (no longer in use) variant spelling of fantastic as OED suggests:

  • The form phantastic is no longer generally current, but has been casually used by a few writers of the 19th c., to suggest associations connected with the Greek etymology.

The suffix ph, of Greek origin was used by Romans to represent the the sound of the letter f, which gradually replaced it. (Etymonline)

  • now in English usually representing "f," originally it was the combination used by Romans to represent Greek letter phi (cognate with Sanskrit -bh-, Germanic -b-), which at first was an aspirated "p," later the same sound as German -pf-. But by 2c. B.C.E. had become a simple sound made by blowing through the lips (bilabial spirant).

  • Roman "f," like modern English "f," was dentilabial; by c. 400, however, the sounds had become identical and in some Romanic languages (Italian, Spanish), -ph- regularly was replaced by -f-. This tendency took hold in Old French and Middle English, but with the revival of classical learning the words subsequently were altered back to -ph- (except fancy and fantastic), and due to zealousness in this some non-Greek words in -f- began to appear confusedly in -ph-, though these forms generally have not survived.

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OALD and Merriam-Webster have no entry for "phantastic". Dated means old language, no longer used. The normal spelling today is fantastic. If an auther uses the spelling phantastic he digs out the Greek spelling whatever may be the reason.

  • I would expect that fiction writers reinvent "phantastic" fairly often, though, to evoke the "phantom" allusion. – Hot Licks Jul 22 '15 at 17:16
  • The only case I know where a spelling with ph is used in fantasy literature is Phantastes by George MacDonald, 1858. – rogermue Jul 22 '15 at 17:26
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The Wikipedia Article on Fantasy notes that the PH spelling of FANTASY was used to denote fantasies of the unconscious. So, I guess people can use these kind of variations to point-out different meanings for the word.

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