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[ih-maj-uh-nuh-tiv, -ney-tiv] /ɪˈmædʒ ə nə tɪv, -ˌneɪ tɪv/
characterized by or bearing evidence of imagination:
an imaginative tale.
of, relating to, or concerned with imagination.
given to imagining, as persons.
having exceptional powers of imagination.
lacking truth; fanciful.
Origin of imaginative
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin imāginātīvus imaginary, imaginative, equivalent to Latin imāgināt(us) imagined (see imagination) + -īvus -ive; replacing Middle English imaginatif < Middle French < Medieval Latin, as above
Related forms
imaginatively, adverb
imaginativeness, noun
overimaginative, adjective
overimaginatively, adverb
overimaginativeness, noun
unimaginative, adjective
unimaginatively, adverb
Can be confused
imaginary, imaginative.
1. creative, inventive, clever, ingenious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for imaginatively
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And sentimentally, not imaginatively, the Englishman will die.

    Appearances Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson
  • Typically Grubb chewed something, but Bert could chew only imaginatively.

    The War in the Air Herbert George Wells
  • She became mentally and imaginatively active to an intense degree.

    The Price of Love

    Arnold Bennett
  • When we consider the past imaginatively, we have some ground to stand on.

  • Spiritually they are undiscerning, because imaginatively they are blind.

    The Soul of the Far East Percival Lowell
  • Let forethought carry you imaginatively into just such a situation.

    Certain Success Norval A. Hawkins
  • Much of Hamlet's play with words and ideas is imaginatively humorous.

    Shakespearean Tragedy A. C. Bradley
  • When Tennyson died, everybody knew it, and imaginatively realized it.

    Books and Persons Arnold Bennett
British Dictionary definitions for imaginatively


produced by or indicative of a vivid or creative imagination: an imaginative story
having a vivid imagination
Derived Forms
imaginatively, adverb
imaginativeness, noun
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 imaginatively



late 14c., ymaginatyf, from Old French imaginatif and directly from Medieval Latin imaginativus, from imaginat-, stem of Latin imaginari (see imagine). Related: Imaginatively; imaginativeness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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