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

Cutting the stems at different heights helped fill my imaginary canvas—but not too much. Lindsey Taylor, WSJ, "A Slightly Surreal Floral Arrangement Inspired by Joan Miró," 22 Feb. 2019 The song follows Clancy, and listens can put themselves in his shoes (or clothes, rather) along his rebellious journey away from Dema, an imaginary walled city representing depression. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Here Are the Lyrics to Twenty One Pilots' 'Jumpsuit'," 11 July 2018 Ramos helps conceptualize her own self-care as an imaginary pie chart in her head, with slices for spending time on work, family, friends, and herself. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Yes, It's Trendy Right Now — But What Exactly Is Self-Care?," 14 Jan. 2019 All three cast members recalled fond memories from their time on location in Killarney as well as other Ontario towns Sudbury and Bracebridge for the film, set in the imaginary town of Grand Valley, Wyoming. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Hallmark's 'Christmas at Grand Valley' Was Filmed at a Rustic Lodge You Can Visit," 21 Dec. 2018 This Instagram account of Prince George throwing imaginary shade at the other royals. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, Normal Sisters-in-Law, Both Attended the Queen's Christmas Lunch," 19 Dec. 2018 The clip strips away some of the top graphical layers to reveal the sketches and models that built this immersive imaginary place. Ramy, Popular Mechanics, "This 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Reel Shows How Impressive Knowhere Really Was," 20 Mar. 2015 Finding the perfect home décor can be a time-consuming endeavor, even for an imaginary dream house. Jaime Osnato, SELF, "Amazon’s New Home Collection Is My Vision Board Come to Life—Here Are 13 Things I Want," 21 Nov. 2018 Most accurately, the Camondos were citizens of the world, a clan for whom national boundaries were little more than imaginary lines. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "A Secret Paris Museum and an Aristocratic Family Decimated by the Holocaust," 9 Feb. 2017

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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Statistics for imaginary

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for imaginary

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

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More Definitions for imaginary

imaginary

adjective

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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