[ ih-maj-in ]
/ ɪˈmædʒ ɪn /

verb (used with object), im·ag·ined, im·ag·in·ing.

verb (used without object), im·ag·ined, im·ag·in·ing.

to form mental images of things not present to the senses; use the imagination.
to suppose; think; conjecture.

Nearby words

  1. imaginary number,
  2. imaginary part,
  3. imaginary unit,
  4. imagination,
  5. imaginative,
  6. imagineer,
  7. imagineering,
  8. imaging,
  9. imagism,
  10. imagists

Origin of imagine

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

1. image, picture. 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.

Related forms


[ ih-mey-goh, ih-mah- ]
/ ɪˈmeɪ goʊ, ɪˈmɑ- /

noun, plural i·ma·goes, i·ma·gi·nes [ih-mey-guh-neez, ih-mah-] /ɪˈmeɪ gəˌniz, ɪˈmɑ-/.

Entomology. an adult insect.
Psychoanalysis. an idealized concept of a loved one, formed in childhood and retained unaltered in adult life.

Origin of imago

1790–1800; < New Latin, Latin imāgō; see image Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for imagines

British Dictionary definitions for imagines


/ (ɪˈmædʒɪn) /


(when tr, may take a clause as object) to form a mental image of
(when tr, may take a clause as object) to think, believe, or guess
(tr; takes a clause as object) to suppose; assumeI imagine he'll come
(tr; takes a clause as object) to believe or assume without foundationhe imagines he knows the whole story
an archaic word for plot 1

sentence substitute

Also: imagine that! an exclamation of surprise
Derived Formsimaginable, adjectiveimaginably, adverbimaginer, noun

Word Origin for imagine

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


/ (ɪˈmeɪɡəʊ) /

noun plural imagoes or imagines (ɪˈmædʒəˌniːz)

an adult sexually mature insect produced after metamorphosis
psychoanal an idealized image of another person, usually a parent, acquired in childhood and carried in the unconscious in later life

Word Origin for imago

C18: New Latin, from Latin: likeness; see image

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 imagines
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for imagines


[ ĭ-māgō, ĭ-mä- ]

n. pl. i•ma•goes

An insect in its sexually mature adult stage after metamorphosis.
An often idealized image of a person, usually a parent, formed in childhood and persisting unconsciously into adulthood.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for imagines


[ ĭ-māgō ]

Plural imagoes imagines (ĭ-māgə-nēz′)

An insect in its sexually mature adult stage after metamorphosis. Compare larva nymph pupa.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.