[ ih-maj-uh-ner-ee ]
See synonyms for imaginary on
  1. existing only in the imagination or fancy; not real; fancied: an imaginary illness; the imaginary animals in the stories of Dr. Seuss.

noun,plural im·ag·i·nar·ies.
  1. Mathematics. imaginary number.

Origin of imaginary

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin imāginārius, equivalent to imāgin-, (stem of imāgō) image + -ārius-ary

Other words for imaginary

Opposites for imaginary

Other words from imaginary

  • im·ag·i·nar·i·ly, adverb
  • im·ag·i·nar·i·ness, noun
  • non·im·ag·i·nar·i·ly, adverb
  • non·im·ag·i·nar·i·ly·ness, noun
  • non·im·ag·i·nar·i·ness, noun
  • non·im·ag·i·nar·y, adjective
  • pre·im·ag·i·nar·y, adjective
  • un·im·ag·i·nar·y, adjective

Words that may be confused with imaginary

Words Nearby imaginary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use imaginary in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for imaginary


/ (ɪˈmædʒɪnərɪ, -dʒɪnrɪ) /

  1. existing in the imagination; unreal; illusory

  2. maths involving or containing imaginary numbers. The imaginary part of a complex number, z, is usually written Im z

Derived forms of imaginary

  • imaginarily, adverb
  • imaginariness, 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