verb imag·ine \ i-ˈma-jən \
|Updated on: 8 Aug 2018

Definition of imagine

imagined; imagining play \i-ˈmaj-niŋ, -ˈma-jə-\
1 : to form a mental image of (something not present)
  • imagine accidents at every turn
2 archaic : plan, scheme
3 : suppose, guess
  • I imagine it will rain
4 : to form a notion of without sufficient basis : fancy
  • imagines himself to be a charming conversationalist
1 : to use the imagination
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.

Recent Examples of imagine from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imagine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of imagine

Middle English ymagynen, borrowed from Anglo-French ymaginer, borrowed from Latin imāginārī, verbal derivative of imāgin-, imāgō "representation, semblance, 1image"

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

IMAGINE Defined for English Language Learners


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

imagined; imagining
1 : to form a mental picture of : use the imagination
  • Imagine yourself grown up.
2 : think 1
  • I imagine you're right.

Medical Dictionary


verb imag·ine \ im-ˈaj-ən \

medical Definition of imagine

imagined; imagining play \-ˈaj-(ə-)niŋ\
: to form a mental image of (something not present)

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