imagination

noun
imag·​i·​na·​tion | \ i-ˌma-jə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce imagination (audio) \

Definition of imagination

1 : the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality
2a : 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
3a : a creation of the mind especially : an idealized or poetic creation
b : fanciful or empty assumption

Keep scrolling for more

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?
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

There was no theme specified, leaving artwork up to each student’s imagination and suitable for display. courant.com, "Community News For The Colchester Edition," 13 Sep. 2019 Their destination is New York City where the Dulcinea of Quichotte’s imagination, a bipolar Indian-American TV talk-show host with a growing substance abuse problem, warily awaits them. BostonGlobe.com, "Salman Rushdie’s ‘Quichotte’ reroutes a legendary journey through the 21st century - The Boston Globe," 13 Sep. 2019 But the real-world technology advances of the first two decades of the 21st century have outpaced even Spielberg’s imagination, as today no such chip is needed. Wired, "Do Our Faces Deserve the Same Protection as Our Phones?," 10 Sep. 2019 What that metaphor implies about America’s relationship to big business is left to the viewer’s imagination. M.s., The Economist, "“The Boys” is a superhero series for the Trump era," 27 Aug. 2019 In his final decades, Singer’s imagination hardly slowed. Jason Fagone, SFChronicle.com, "Jerome Singer, scientist and inventor who pioneered magnetic imaging, dies," 5 Aug. 2019 In other words, these are things that were once conceived in someone’s imagination and are now being crystallized into reality. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Exclusive: Lux Capital Raises More Than $1 Billion Across Two New Funds to Invest in Companies Building a Sci-Fi Future," 1 Aug. 2019 This isn’t the Kentucky of Elmore Leonard’s imagination, and there is nothing romantic about it. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "The White Ghetto," 23 July 2019 And the fact that nothing is happening in terms of policy, and that decontamination standards STILL have not been updated, is dangerous beyond imagination. Robert Zubrin, National Review, "‘Tardigrades on the Moon Is Not Good’," 31 Aug. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of imagination

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for imagination

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for imagination

imagination

noun

English Language Learners Definition of imagination

: the ability to imagine things that are not real : the ability to form a picture in your mind of something that you have not seen or experienced
: the ability to think of new things
: something that only exists or happens in your mind

imagination

noun
imag·​i·​na·​tion | \ i-ˌma-jə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce imagination (audio) \

Kids Definition of imagination

1 : the act, process, or power of forming a mental picture of something not present and especially of something a person has not known or experienced Her imagination kept her entertained on the long ride.
2 : creative ability Her story shows great imagination.
3 : a creation of the mind Is it just my imagination or are we moving?

imagination

noun
imag·​i·​na·​tion | \ im-ˌaj-ə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce imagination (audio) \

Medical Definition of imagination

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on imagination

What made you want to look up imagination? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!