[ ih-maj-in ]
See synonyms for: imagineimaginedimagining on

verb (used with object),im·ag·ined, im·ag·in·ing.
  1. to form a mental image of (something not actually present to the senses).

  2. to think, believe, or fancy: He imagined the house was haunted.

  1. to assume; suppose: I imagine they'll be here soon.

  2. to conjecture; guess: I cannot imagine what you mean.

  3. Archaic. to plan, scheme, or plot.

verb (used without object),im·ag·ined, im·ag·in·ing.
  1. to form mental images of things not present to the senses; use the imagination.

  2. to suppose; think; conjecture.

Origin of imagine

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English imaginen from Middle French imaginer from Latin imāginārī, equivalent to imāgin- (stem of imāgō ) image + -ā- thematic vowel + -rī infinitive ending

synonym study For imagine

1. Imagine, conceive, conceive of, realize refer to bringing something before the mind. To imagine is, literally, to form a mental image of something: to imagine yourself in London. To conceive is to form something by using one's imagination: How has the author conceived the first act of his play? To conceive of is to comprehend through the intellect something not perceived through the senses: Wilson conceived of a world free from war. To realize is to make an imagined thing real or concrete to oneself, to grasp fully its implications: to realize the extent of one's folly.

Other words for imagine

Other words from imagine

  • i·mag·in·er, noun
  • pre·im·ag·ine, verb (used with object), pre·im·ag·ined, pre·im·ag·in·ing.
  • re·i·mag·ine, verb (used with object), re·i·mag·ined, re·i·mag·in·ing.
  • un·im·ag·ined, adjective
  • well-i·mag·ined, adjective

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

How to use imagine in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for imagine


/ (ɪˈmædʒɪn) /

  1. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to form a mental image of

  2. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to think, believe, or guess

  1. (tr; takes a clause as object) to suppose; assume: I imagine he'll come

  2. (tr; takes a clause as object) to believe or assume without foundation: he imagines he knows the whole story

  3. an archaic word for plot 1

sentence substitute
  1. Also: imagine that! an exclamation of surprise

Origin of imagine

C14: from Latin imāginārī to fancy, picture mentally, from imāgō likeness; see image

Derived forms of imagine

  • imaginable, adjective
  • imaginably, adverb
  • imaginer, 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