imag·i·na·tion | \i-ˌma-jə-ˈnā-shən \

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

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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?
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Recent Examples on the Web

But the coaster is also set up to reflect Andy’s imagination. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "Toy Story Land Is Riddled With Amazing Hidden References to the Movies," 2 July 2018 Capturing the imagination of young ones this year was the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Programme, which featured Japanese-Australian artist Hiromi Tango. Houston Chronicle, "ART FEEL: Digital collage art with Sue Burke Harrington," 22 June 2018 Over the last five decades, Koko captured the world’s imagination: a gorilla able to understand more than 2,000 words of spoken English and to respond in American Sign Language., "Today: Blurred Lines at the Border," 22 June 2018 The summit has captured the imaginations of Singaporeans, who have set social media alight. Jonathan Cheng, WSJ, "Singapore Gears Up for the Greatest Show on Earth: The Trump-Kim Summit," 6 June 2018 Unlike military drones that can cost more than $15 million and look like small airplanes, mini quadcopters can be obtained for a few hundred dollars—and their capabilities are exciting the imaginations of bad guys. W.j. Hennigan, Time, "Experts Say Drones Pose a National Security Threat — and We Aren’t Ready," 31 May 2018 Few geologic events capture the imagination like an erupting volcano. Author: Erik Klemetti, Anchorage Daily News, "Five myths about volcanoes," 28 May 2018 Widely known for the petrified remains of its once towering ancient trees, the spires now stand guard across the river valleys and plains and have long captured the imagination of travelers to this planet. Marjie Lambert, miamiherald, "A new name in Star Wars lore: village at Galaxy's Edge, home to rogues and smugglers | Miami Herald," 27 May 2018 From cover stories in the Saturday Evening Post to Mickey Mouse cartoons and board games, the new airmail service captured the imagination of the American public. Adam Cohen, Smithsonian, "Delivering the Mail Was Once One of the Riskiest Jobs in America," 18 May 2018

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.

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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

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More Definitions for imagination



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


imag·i·na·tion | \i-ˌma-jə-ˈnā-shən \

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?


imag·i·na·tion | \im-ˌaj-ə-ˈnā-shən \

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

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Comments on imagination

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one that holds something together

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