imaginary

adjective
imag·​i·​nary | \ i-ˈma-jə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce imaginary (audio) , -ˌne-rē \

Definition of imaginary

1a : existing only in imagination : lacking factual reality
b : formed or characterized imaginatively or arbitrarily his canvases, chiefly imaginary, somber landscapesCurrent Biography
2 : containing or relating to the imaginary unit imaginary roots

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Other Words from imaginary

imaginarily \ i-​ˌma-​jə-​ˈner-​ə-​lē How to pronounce imaginarily (audio) \ adverb
imaginariness \ i-​ˈma-​jə-​ˌner-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce imaginariness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for imaginary

imaginary, fanciful, visionary, fantastic, chimerical, quixotic mean unreal or unbelievable. imaginary applies to something which is fictitious and purely the product of one's imagination. an imaginary desert isle fanciful suggests the free play of the imagination. a teller of fanciful stories visionary stresses impracticality or incapability of realization. visionary schemes fantastic implies incredibility or strangeness beyond belief. a fantastic world inhabited by monsters chimerical combines the implication of visionary and fantastic. chimerical dreams of future progress quixotic implies a devotion to romantic or chivalrous ideals unrestrained by ordinary prudence and common sense. a quixotic crusade

Examples of imaginary in a Sentence

The two groups were separated by an imaginary line down the middle of the room. an imaginary world of dragons and unicorns
Recent Examples on the Web Presumably in light of the fatal incident in January, a yellow steel gate has been added to what had previously been an imaginary boundary demarcated by signs. Jordan Runtagh, PEOPLE.com, "The Storming of Area 51: A Covert Journey to the Heart of America’s Worst-Kept Secret," 13 Jan. 2020 The window depicts a sunset view from the neoclassical portico of an imaginary mansion twirled with wisteria vines that frame a distant perspective of a temple-like portico of a building resembling the Cleveland Museum of Art’s 1916 building. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Tiffany lamp show at Cleveland Museum of Art brightens dark time of year," 12 Jan. 2020 In fact, there was always culture on both sides of this imaginary dividing line. Washington Post, "The president didn’t threaten just Iran’s culture sites. He threatened culture.," 6 Jan. 2020 With a single gesture, a deranged girl named Lynette Fromme, aged twenty-six and dressed in the red robe of an imaginary religious order, had become a national celebrity. Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's magazine, "Criminal Minds," 6 Jan. 2020 Seen from an imaginary planet, the black hole in the galaxy M87 warps spacetime and pours out energy. Science Magazine, "⭕ BREAKDOWNS ⭕," 19 Dec. 2019 The exploitation of the imaginary Aryan history, bestrode by Valhallan gods, became central to the Hitler cult. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Field Guide to Tyranny," 16 Dec. 2019 Jump aboard our imaginary time machine and dial up the year 1907. Rich Heileman, cleveland, "River pylons a reminder of interurban age: Around The Town," 13 Dec. 2019 The world of cryptocurrency has no shortage of imaginary investment products. Gregory Barber, Wired, "This Alleged Bitcoin Scam Looked a Lot Like a Pyramid Scheme," 10 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imaginary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of imaginary

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for imaginary

Middle English ymaginarie, borrowed from Latin imāginārius "unreal, fictitious (in law)," from imāgin-, imāgō "representation, semblance, image entry 1" + -ārius -ary entry 2

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Time Traveler for imaginary

Time Traveler

The first known use of imaginary was in the 15th century

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Statistics for imaginary

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Imaginary.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imaginary. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for imaginary

imaginary

adjective
How to pronounce imaginary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of imaginary

: not real : existing only in your mind or imagination

imaginary

adjective
imag·​i·​nary | \ i-ˈma-jə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce imaginary (audio) \

Kids Definition of imaginary

: existing only in the imagination : not real an imaginary world

imaginary

adjective
imag·​i·​nary | \ im-ˈaj-ə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce imaginary (audio) \

Medical Definition of imaginary

: existing only in imagination : lacking factual reality imaginary fears an imaginary illness

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Comments on imaginary

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