imag·​i·​na·​tive i-'ma-jə-nə-tiv How to pronounce imaginative (audio)
: of, relating to, or characterized by imagination
: devoid of truth : false
: given to imagining : having a lively imagination
: of or relating to images
especially : showing a command of imagery
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 The quirky weeklong gathering in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert — notorious for an imaginative array of revelry — sparked viral fears amid circulating images showing knee-deep mud and stuck cars. Jake Sheridan, Chicago Tribune, 10 Sep. 2023 Now, a brief primer on each of the moon phases: New Moon People born under the new moon are intuitive, spiritual, and imaginative, explains Hadas. Aliza Pelto, Women's Health, 10 Sep. 2023 And, they can be displayed in so many imaginative and creative ways: in shells and sea urchins and little dishes, on driftwood or the top of a book, in glass globes that hang from the ceiling, nestled next to other houseplants. Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, 1 Sep. 2023 Effects work has a beautiful lo-fi, artisanal quality, notably the gorgeous sequences in which Pinochet takes flight in his military cape, soaring above the landscape and into the city to feast on his victims in a series of imaginative kills. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Aug. 2023 The most anticipated books of the fall include Jesmyn Ward’s imaginative novel about an enslaved woman in the American South, Michael Lewis’ exploration of cryptocurrency, and Zadie Smith’s first work of historical fiction. Shannon Carlin, Time, 23 Aug. 2023 This whimsical sandbox takes the form of a pirate ship for hours of imaginative pretend play. Alesandra Dubin, Parents, 31 July 2023 Not even the most imaginative right-wing operative could have dreamed up an example of left-wing-governance failure so pure, so complete in every last detail. Stephen Eide, National Review, 22 Aug. 2023 In this imaginative, poetic work—part memoir, part novella—Fernández braids the mysteries of the cosmos, the neural map of the human brain, and the traumas of contemporary Chilean history. Nona Fernández, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near imaginative

Cite this Entry

“Imaginative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


imag·​i·​na·​tive im-ˈaj-(ə-)nət-iv How to pronounce imaginative (audio)
: of, relating to, or showing imagination
: having a lively imagination
imaginatively adverb
imaginativeness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on imaginative

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