[ih-maj-uh-nuh-tiv, -ney-tiv]


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 formsi·mag·i·na·tive·ly, adverbi·mag·i·na·tive·ness, nouno·ver·im·ag·i·na·tive, adjectiveo·ver·im·ag·i·na·tive·ly, adverbo·ver·im·ag·i·na·tive·ness, nounun·im·ag·i·na·tive, adjectiveun·im·ag·i·na·tive·ly, adverb
Can be confusedimaginary imaginative

Synonyms for imaginative Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for imaginative

Contemporary Examples of imaginative

Historical Examples of imaginative

  • Like all imaginative people, she had the gift of dramatizing herself.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Dorcas Jane, who was eleven and a half and not at all imaginative, eyed him suspiciously.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • The least imaginative of my charges seemed to feel the influence of the place.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • To an imaginative mind the scene was full of novel interest.

  • You are susceptible, imaginative; do not demand too much, or dream too fondly.

British Dictionary definitions for imaginative



produced by or indicative of a vivid or creative imaginationan imaginative story
having a vivid imagination
Derived Formsimaginatively, adverbimaginativeness, 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

Word Origin and History for imaginative

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