What Is Another Way to Say “Wishful Thinking”?

Looking for synonyms for wishful thinking? We’ve got you covered!

Here’s a list of other ways to say wishful thinking.

  • Pipe dream
  • Daydreaming
  • Fantasizing
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Illusory hope
  • Castle in the air
  • Fool’s paradise
  • Pie in the sky
  • Unfounded optimism
  • Delusion
  • Flight of fancy
  • Utopian thinking
  • Dreaming
  • False hope
  • Impractical notions
  • Overoptimism
  • Fantasy
  • Mirage
  • Rose-colored glasses
  • Chasing rainbows

Want to learn how to say wishful thinking professionally? Keep reading for examples and use cases.

1. Pipe Dream

Used to describe a hope or plan that is impossible or very unlikely to happen.
Example: “Thinking the project can be completed without adequate funding is a pipe dream.”

2. Daydreaming

Refers to indulging in pleasant fantasies about something desired, often unrealistic.
Example: “He was daydreaming about a major promotion without putting in the necessary work.”

3. Fantasizing

Used for creating unrealistic or improbable scenarios in one’s mind.
Example: “She spent more time fantasizing about the perfect product launch than planning for realistic outcomes.”

4. Unrealistic Expectations

Appropriate for describing hopes or plans that are not sensible or likely to be fulfilled.
Example: “Setting unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment in business ventures.”

5. Illusory Hope

Refers to a hope based on illusion, not likely to be realized.
Example: “Their illusory hope for a quick market turnaround wasn’t backed by any concrete data.”

6. Castle in the Air

Used for plans or hopes that are impractical and unlikely to happen.
Example: “Their idea of expanding the business globally within a year was a castle in the air.”

7. Fool’s Paradise

Describes a state of happiness based on false or unrealistic beliefs.
Example: “Relying solely on outdated marketing tactics in the digital age is like living in a fool’s paradise.”

8. Pie in the Sky

Refers to something that is pleasant to contemplate but very unlikely to be realized.
Example: “Promising investors sky-high returns without a solid business model is just pie in the sky.”

9. Unfounded Optimism

Used when optimism lacks a strong basis in reality or facts.
Example: “The team’s unfounded optimism about the project ignored the critical technical challenges.”

10. Delusion

Appropriate for a belief held despite strong evidence against it or irrationality.
Example: “Thinking the company can thrive without adapting to market changes is a delusion.”

11. Flight of Fancy

Refers to an unrealistic idea or plan that shows imagination but is unlikely to be practical.
Example: “His latest proposal for reinventing the product was a flight of fancy.”

12. Utopian Thinking

Describes an idealistic but usually impractical or unrealistic plan or belief.
Example: “Her utopian thinking about a completely harmonious workplace ignored natural team conflicts.”

13. Dreaming

Used for imagining events or achievements that are highly unlikely.
Example: “Dreaming of dominating the market without substantial investment is unrealistic.”

14. False Hope

Refers to hope based on a wish rather than reality or probability.
Example: “Giving employees false hope about promotions can lead to dissatisfaction and turnover.”

15. Impractical Notions

Suitable for ideas or plans that are not practical or realistic.
Example: “The board dismissed the proposal as full of impractical notions.”

16. Overoptimism

Refers to being excessively optimistic, especially in the face of unlikelihood or difficulties.
Example: “Their overoptimism about the new venture ignored the clear market research findings.”

17. Fantasy

Used for a scenario that is imagined and highly unlikely to occur.
Example: “Her fantasy of a perfect product with no competition was far from the market reality.”

18. Mirage

Refers to something that appears real or possible but is in fact illusory.
Example: “The sudden spike in sales was a mirage, not an indicator of sustainable growth.”

19. Rose-colored Glasses

Describes an overly optimistic perspective that ignores the negative.
Example: “Viewing the financial projections through rose-colored glasses can lead to risky decisions.”

20. Chasing Rainbows

Refers to pursuing goals or dreams that are unlikely to be attained.
Example: “Investing in that unstable market is like chasing rainbows.”

Linda Brown