imag·​ine | \ i-ˈma-jən How to pronounce imagine (audio) \
imagined; imagining\ i-​ˈmaj-​niŋ How to pronounce imagine (audio) , -​ˈma-​jə-​ \

Definition of imagine

transitive verb

1 : to form a mental image of (something not present) imagine accidents at every turn
2 : suppose, guess I imagine it will rain
3 : to form a notion of without sufficient basis : fancy imagines himself to be a charming conversationalist
4 archaic : plan, scheme

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of imagine in a Sentence

a writer who has imagined an entire world of amazing creatures He asked us to imagine a world without poverty or war. It's hard for me to imagine having children. He was imagining all sorts of terrible things happening. “What was that sound? I think there's someone in the house!” “Oh, you're just imagining things.” I imagine it will snow at some point today. It's difficult to imagine that these changes will really be effective. The company will do better next year, I imagine. It was worse than they had imagined.
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Recent Examples on the Web Engaging the senses of smell, taste, and touch as well as the big hitters of sight and sound helps your audience imagine the experience. Allbusiness, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 The website, which does this by using AI trained on images of such scenes to re-imagine pictures from Google Street View, was created by researchers at Mila, an AI research institute in Montreal. Rachel Metz, CNN, 14 Oct. 2021 Instead, Green and co-writer/partner-in-crime Danny McBride go directly back to the source and imagine that the guy in the pale white mask had been institutionalized for decades. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 14 Oct. 2021 This is a show that understands why that’s absurd and has the imagination to imagine that almost ludicrous theft of someone’s labor for attention for yourself. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 13 Oct. 2021 The psychological scarring is nearly too much to imagine, though Del Toro doesn’t shy away from subjecting kids to such hell. Peter Debruge, Variety, 12 Oct. 2021 It’s not a huge stretch to imagine normalizing men wearing dresses or whatever in the workplace. New York Times, 11 Oct. 2021 The thrust of the reconstruction, visually speaking, is that the museum believes that Krishna’s gracefully athletic pose is so strong and so clear that the viewer will be able to imagine what the missing leg pieces and feet might have looked like. Steven Litt, cleveland, 10 Oct. 2021 The nose of this wine—imagine cherries growing in a shady wood—is worth the price of the bottle, incredibly evocative of good Pinot Noir and showing the quality of its Grand Cru site in the Aÿ region of Champagne. Ted Loos, Robb Report, 9 Oct. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of imagine

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

History and Etymology for imagine

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

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Time Traveler for imagine

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Imagine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for imagine



English Language Learners Definition of imagine

: 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)


imag·​ine | \ i-ˈma-jən How to pronounce imagine (audio) \
imagined; imagining

Kids Definition of imagine

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


imag·​ine | \ im-ˈaj-ən How to pronounce imagine (audio) \
imagined; imagining\ -​ˈaj-​(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce imagine (audio) \

Medical Definition of imagine

transitive verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on imagine

Nglish: Translation of imagine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of imagine for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about imagine


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