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creative imagination

See under imagination (def 6).


[ih-maj-uh-ney-shuh n] /ɪˌmædʒ əˈneɪ ʃən/
the faculty of imagining, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.
the action or process of forming such images or concepts.
the faculty of producing ideal creations consistent with reality, as in literature, as distinct from the power of creating illustrative or decorative imagery.
Compare fancy (def 2).
the product of imagining; a conception or mental creation, often a baseless or fanciful one.
ability to face and resolve difficulties; resourcefulness:
a job that requires imagination.
Psychology. the power of reproducing images stored in the memory under the suggestion of associated images (reproductive imagination) or of recombining former experiences in the creation of new images directed at a specific goal or aiding in the solution of problems (creative imagination)
(in Kantian epistemology) synthesis of data from the sensory manifold into objects by means of the categories.
Archaic. a plan, scheme, or plot.
Origin of imagination
1300-50; Middle English < Latin imāginātiōn- (stem of imāginātiō) fancy, equivalent to imāgināt(us) past participle of imāginārī to imagine (imāgin-, stem of imāgō image + -ātus -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
imaginational, adjective
nonimaginational, adjective
3. See fancy. 5. ingenuity, enterprise, thought. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for creative imagination
Historical Examples
  • He is fertile in plan and constructive in method because he has creative imagination.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
  • No particular profession or pursuit has a monopoly of creative imagination.

    Power of Mental Imagery Warren Hilton
  • The fact is no man can succeed in any pursuit unless he has a creative imagination.

    Power of Mental Imagery Warren Hilton
  • Let us follow to the end the working of this creative imagination.

  • He only is a poet who can arouse in the mind a creative imagination.

  • His ideas were as yet crude, but there was creative imagination in them.

    Ole Bull Sara C. Bull
  • In twelfth-century France the creative imagination was set free.

  • There is more of fancy than of creative imagination in Whittier.

    John Greenleaf Whittier W. Sloane Kennedy
  • No doubt the Romans were imitators; they had no creative imagination.

    Ten Great Religions James Freeman Clarke
  • But he had as yet no audience, and had not begun to exercise his creative imagination.


    Arthur Christopher Benson
British Dictionary definitions for creative imagination


the faculty or action of producing ideas, esp mental images of what is not present or has not been experienced
mental creative ability
the ability to deal resourcefully with unexpected or unusual problems, circumstances, etc
(in romantic literary criticism, esp that of S. T. Coleridge) a creative act of perception that joins passive and active elements in thinking and imposes unity on the poetic material Compare fancy (sense 9)
Derived Forms
imaginational, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for creative imagination



"faculty of the mind which forms and manipulates images," mid-14c., ymaginacion, from Old French imaginacion "concept, mental picture; hallucination," from Latin imaginationem (nominative imaginatio) "imagination, a fancy," noun of action from past participle stem of imaginari (see imagine).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with creative imagination


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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