verb imag·ine \i-ˈma-jən\

Definition of imagine



play \-ˈmaj-niŋ, -ˈma-jə-\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to form a mental image of (something not present) <imagine accidents at every turn>

  3. 2 archaic :  plan, scheme

  4. 3 :  suppose, guess <I imagine it will rain>

  5. 4 :  to form a notion of without sufficient basis :  fancy <imagines himself to be a charming conversationalist>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to use the imagination

  8. 2 :  believe 3

Examples of imagine in a sentence

  1. a writer who has imagined an entire world of amazing creatures

  2. He asked us to imagine a world without poverty or war.

  3. It's hard for me to imagine having children.

  4. He was imagining all sorts of terrible things happening.

  5. What was that sound? I think there's someone in the house! Oh, you're just imagining things.

  6. I imagine it will snow at some point today.

  7. It's difficult to imagine that these changes will really be effective.

  8. The company will do better next year, I imagine.

  9. It was worse than they had imagined.

Origin and Etymology of imagine

Middle English, from Anglo-French imaginer, from Latin imaginari, from imagin-, imago image

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of imagine

think, conceive, imagine, fancy, realize, envisage, envision mean to form an idea of. think implies the entrance of an idea into one's mind with or without deliberate consideration or reflection <I just thought of a good joke>. conceive suggests the forming and bringing forth and usually developing of an idea, plan, or design <conceived of a new marketing approach>. imagine stresses a visualization <imagine you're at the beach>. fancy suggests an imagining often unrestrained by reality but spurred by desires <fancied himself a super athlete>. realize stresses a grasping of the significance of what is conceived or imagined <realized the enormity of the task ahead>. envisage and envision imply a conceiving or imagining that is especially clear or detailed <envisaged a totally computerized operation> <envisioned a cure for the disease>.

think, cogitate, reflect, reason, speculate, deliberate mean to use one's powers of conception, judgment, or inference. think is general and may apply to any mental activity, but used alone often suggests attainment of clear ideas or conclusions <teaches students how to think>. cogitate implies deep or intent thinking <cogitated on the mysteries of nature>. reflect suggests unhurried consideration of something recalled to the mind <reflecting on fifty years of married life>. reason stresses consecutive logical thinking <able to reason brilliantly in debate>. speculate implies reasoning about things theoretical or problematic <speculated on the fate of the lost explorers>. deliberate suggests slow or careful reasoning before forming an opinion or reaching a conclusion or decision <the jury deliberated for five hours>.

IMAGINE Defined for English Language Learners


verb imag·ine \i-ˈma-jən\

Definition of imagine for English Language Learners

  • : to think of or create (something that is not real) in your mind

  • : to form a picture or idea in your mind of (something that is not real or present)

  • : to have or form (an idea or opinion that is not accurate or based on reality)

IMAGINE Defined for Kids


verb imag·ine \i-ˈma-jən\

Definition of imagine for Students



  1. 1 :  to form a mental picture of :  use the imagination <Imagine yourself grown up.>

  2. 2 :  think 1 <I imagine you're right.>

Medical Dictionary


verb imag·ine \im-ˈaj-ən\

Medical Definition of imagine




  1. transitive verb

  2. :  to form a mental image of (something not present)

  3. intransitive verb

  4. :  to use the imagination

Seen and Heard

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


of, relating to, or resembling a fox

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