[ im-ij-ree, im-i-juh-ree ]
See synonyms for imagery on
noun,plural im·age·ries.
  1. the formation of mental images, figures, or likenesses of things, or of such images collectively: the dim imagery of a dream.

  2. pictorial images, as in works of art.

  1. the use of rhetorical images.

  2. figurative description or illustration; rhetorical images collectively.

  3. Psychology. mental images collectively, especially those produced by the action of imagination.

Origin of imagery

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English imagerie, from Old French, equivalent to image + -ery

Other words from imagery

  • im·a·ge·ri·al [im-uh-jeer-ee-uhl], /ˌɪm əˈdʒɪər i əl/, adjective
  • im·a·ge·ri·al·ly, adverb

Words Nearby imagery Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use imagery in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for imagery


/ (ˈɪmɪdʒrɪ, -dʒərɪ) /

nounplural -ries
  1. figurative or descriptive language in a literary work

  2. images collectively

  1. psychol

    • the materials or general processes of the imagination

    • the characteristic kind of mental images formed by a particular individual: See also image (def. 7), imagination (def. 1)

  2. military the presentation of objects reproduced photographically (by infrared or electronic means) as prints or electronic displays

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

Cultural definitions for imagery


The mental pictures created by a piece of writing: “The imagery of “The Waste Land” — crumbling towers, dried-up wells, toppled tombstones — conveys the author's sense of a civilization in decay.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.