- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for imagination
Does each character have one in real life that inspired it, or are they from your imagination?The Zany Shades of Nick Kroll
December 15, 2014
She found instead a show of imagination, artistry, and above all, really happy people—and she quickly fell in love.A Backstage Love Affair With Cirque du Soleil
December 1, 2014
This little nook is the perfect spot for some quiet reading time or to let your imagination run wild.The Daily Beast’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Blue Ivy in Your Life
November 29, 2014
So after that initial inspiration, my imagination created the rest.Amanda Knox: A Mother’s Obsession
November 26, 2014
Today, Turkey in the German imagination has mostly to do with immigration, assimilation, and EU membership.The 20th-Century Dictator Most Idolized by Hitler
November 24, 2014
Moreover, I believe, dearest Eudora, that half your wrongs are in your own imagination.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
They are barren, till the imagination has tenanted them with possibilities of danger and dismay.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
The miseries of Tasso arose not only from the imagination and the heart.
Hitherto he had heard their voices in the dimness of imagination.Viviette
William J. Locke
However, I am going to give my imagination rein, and string some rhymes about them.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
- 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 materialCompare fancy (def. 9)
Word Origin and History for 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).