imag·i·na·tive | \i-ˈmaj-nə-tiv; -ˈma-jə-ˌnā-, -nə-\

Definition of imaginative 

1a : of, relating to, or characterized by imagination

b : devoid of truth : false

2 : given to imagining : having a lively imagination

3 : of or relating to images especially : showing a command of imagery

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Other Words from imaginative

imaginatively adverb
imaginativeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for imaginative


artful, clever, creative, ingenious, innovative, inventive


uncreative, unimaginative

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Examples of imaginative in a Sentence

She wrote an imaginative story about life on the planet Venus. The restaurant's menu is quite imaginative.

Recent Examples on the Web

Those speaking of Rohrer, a 35-year-old husband and father of two young children, remembered an imaginative young man who became a dedicated deputy but never lost his sense of fun. Ian Cummings, Glenn E. Rice, Lauren Fox, Katie Bernard And Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "'Thank you just isn't good enough.' Police, friends and family bid deputies farewell," 21 June 2018 Mesa's Festival of Creativity celebrates the imaginative spark in everyone. azcentral, "A guide to all spring festivals in Phoenix from April through May," 6 Mar. 2018 That was another radical idea for D’Antoni, the NBA’s most imaginative offensive mind whose teams have often been allergic to defense, and yet look where the Rockets are now. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Rockets Are Beating the Warriors With Defense. Really.," 25 May 2018 The innovative playground -- which is designed for children of all ages, stages of development and physical capabilities -- will encourage interaction, inclusivity, creativity, teamwork and imaginative play. John Benson,, "Fairview Park receives $50,000 grant toward completion of Nelson Russ Park upgrade," 2 Apr. 2018 Some stories were more memorable, more imaginative than others. Vanessa Hua,, "Stargazing summer," 5 July 2018 Based in the western suburbs, Riverside Center is a supplemental education center dedicated to imaginative learning. Jen Banowetz, Naperville Sun, "Riverside Folk Festival comes to Cantigny," 14 June 2018 But to act like race doesn’t have any influence is imaginative and inconsistent with American history. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "North Carolina passes charter school law that critics say is intended to promote segregation," 14 June 2018 In this extremely imaginative video, the host asks what would happen if all of these historical humans came back to life at once, a kind of reverse-Leftovers. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "What Would Happen If Every Dead Human Came Back To Life At Once?," 19 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imaginative.' 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 imaginative

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for imaginative

Middle English ymaginatif "employing mental images, curious, inventive," borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French, "of the imagination, having a strong imagination, shrewd," borrowed from Medieval Latin imāginātīvus "of the imagination," from Latin imāginātus, past participle of imāginārī "to imagine" + -īvus -ive

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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The first known use of imaginative was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for imaginative



English Language Learners Definition of imaginative

: having or showing an ability to think of new and interesting ideas : having or showing imagination

: of or relating to imagination


imag·i·na·tive | \i-ˈma-jə-nə-tiv \

Kids Definition of imaginative

1 : relating to or showing imagination an imaginative story

2 : having a lively imagination an imaginative artist

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