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

Other Words from imaginary

imaginarily \ i-​ˌma-​jə-​ˈner-​ə-​lē How to pronounce imaginary (audio) \ adverb
imaginariness \ i-​ˈma-​jə-​ˌner-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce imaginary (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 According to a source close to the project, the untitled film is based on Evans’ original idea in which a 12-year-old boy who works on the MGM Lot in the 1950s finds an imaginary friend in Kelly while working on his newest film. Ellise Shafer, Variety, 4 Jan. 2022 Republicans stoked his fears by asking the Congressional Budget Office to analyze an imaginary bill in which every program was permanent, which showed ballooning deficits as a result. New York Times, 19 Dec. 2021 In addition to the work of Gretchen Scherer, who portrays imaginary ballrooms and museums filled with miniature pictures, Polina Barskaya’s shares the same tremendous, collapsing density of emotion. Jerry Saltz, Vulture, 17 Dec. 2021 Imagine being Ella, and on top of everything else, learning that your imaginary childhood friend Ray-Ray is actually Azrael the Angel of Death. Sara Netzley, EW.com, 10 Sep. 2021 Could an imaginary friend from her childhood be responsible? cleveland, 8 Sep. 2021 In a business where the line between supporting and lead performances is often blurred, why is there an imaginary minimum set on a performance time to qualify it as Oscar-worthy? Jenelle Riley, Variety, 11 Dec. 2021 This is not political correctness, not kowtowing to some imaginary woke-mob mentality. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 10 Dec. 2021 To Erickson, 71, the idea of recording everyone’s movements in hopes of combating some imaginary menace seemed invasive, ineffective and absurd. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near imaginary

imaginant

imaginary

imaginary number

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Statistics for imaginary

Last Updated

12 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Imaginary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imaginary. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on imaginary

Nglish: Translation of imaginary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of imaginary for Arabic Speakers

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