imagination

noun

imag·​i·​na·​tion i-ˌma-jə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce imagination (audio)
1
: the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality
2
a
: creative ability
b
: ability to confront and deal with a problem : resourcefulness
use your imagination and get us out of here
c
: the thinking or active mind : interest
stories that fired the imagination
3
a
: a creation of the mind
especially : an idealized or poetic creation
b
: fanciful or empty assumption

Examples of imagination in a Sentence

You can find a solution if you use a little imagination. The author does not tell us what happens to the characters. We have to use our imagination. He's a competent writer, but he lacks imagination. Is it just my imagination, or is it getting warm in here?
Recent Examples on the Web All the names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents in this book are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Dan Morse, Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2024 Reading is not only for understanding, but also unlocks new worlds of stories, adventures full of imagination and knowledge for children. Plaza De La Raza, Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2024 The doc features’ protagonists rebel, moreover, with courage, good humor, imagination, and above all resilience. John Hopewell, Variety, 17 Apr. 2024 One image in particular, of a bedroom belonging to teenager Silvia Ragusa, who had covered the walls with all her favorite things really captured my imagination. Jermaine Gallacher, Vogue, 12 Apr. 2024 Neptune: Illusion, delusions, spirituality, imagination, idealism, and fantasy. Lisa Stardust, Peoplemag, 12 Apr. 2024 Now, Beyoncé told us this album isn’t country, but one of her own imagination. Brooklyn White, Essence, 9 Apr. 2024 While other dogs also played similar roles and were paraded for the media, Roger captured the island’s imagination — partly because of his backstory of an initial career failure. Chris Lau, CNN, 9 Apr. 2024 In a move that has captured the imagination of skywatchers and travelers alike, Delta Air Lines is setting the stage and offering two special flights that will allow flyers to witness next week's total solar eclipse from the best vantage point possible. Manuel Bojorquez, CBS News, 5 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'imagination.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English ymaginacioun, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French ymaginacion, borrowed from Latin imāginātiōn-, imāginātiō, from imāginārī "to imagine" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of imagination was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near imagination

Cite this Entry

“Imagination.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imagination. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

imagination

noun
imag·​i·​na·​tion im-ˌaj-ə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce imagination (audio)
1
: the act or power of forming a mental picture of something not present and especially of something one has not known or experienced
2
: creative ability
3
: a creation of the mind

Medical Definition

imagination

noun
imag·​i·​na·​tion im-ˌaj-ə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce imagination (audio)
: an act or process of forming a conscious idea or mental image of something never before wholly perceived in reality by the one forming the images (as through a synthesis of remembered elements of previous sensory experiences or ideas as modified by unconscious defense mechanisms)
also : the ability or gift of forming such conscious ideas or mental images especially for the purposes of artistic or intellectual creation

More from Merriam-Webster on imagination

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