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

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

Each week is an imaginative adventure into the unknown with the constant goal of saving the world. The Christian Science Monitor, "What are you watching? Readers recommend 'Doctor Who,' 'Longmire'," 18 May 2018 That engineers should be imaginative is not surprising. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: NASA's Crazy, Kooky, Legendary Research Facility," 3 Nov. 2016 Though the area is often referred to as the country’s bread basket, the more imaginative might call it the olive-oil jug or the cork stopper. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "Vacation in Portugal the Less-Obvious Way," 10 Aug. 2018 Ever since coaches and administrators realized that Saban might be the most prolific job creator in Alabama, the less imaginative among them have tried to figure out how to keep Alabama from hiring every person who has ever watched a Hudl clip. Andy Staples,, "The Latest Evidence That Nick Saban Lives in His Competitors' Heads," 21 May 2018 Glove boxes are more obvious but parents warn they are still used by the less imaginative. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "Not even the Bible is safe. Here's where experts say some kids hide their drugs," 9 Apr. 2018 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

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

27 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for imaginative

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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Comments on imaginative

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


a nest or breeding place

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