• synonyms


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.
  3. to assume; suppose: I imagine they'll be here soon.
  4. to conjecture; guess: I cannot imagine what you mean.
  5. Archaic. to plan, scheme, or plot.
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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.
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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
Related formsi·mag·in·er, nounpre·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, adjectivewell-i·mag·ined, adjective

Synonyms for imagine

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.


[ih-mey-goh, ih-mah-]
noun, plural i·ma·goes, i·ma·gi·nes [ih-mey-guh-neez, ih-mah-] /ɪˈmeɪ gəˌniz, ɪˈmɑ-/.
  1. Entomology. an adult insect.
  2. Psychoanalysis. an idealized concept of a loved one, formed in childhood and retained unaltered in adult life.
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Origin of imago

1790–1800; < New Latin, Latin imāgō; see image
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for imagines

envision, figure, devise, frame, fancy, fantasy, envisage, visualize, create, feature, scheme, image, picture, form, perceive, depict, fantasize, plan, spark, realize

Examples from the Web for imagines

Contemporary Examples of imagines

Historical Examples of imagines

British Dictionary definitions for imagines


  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
  3. (tr; takes a clause as object) to suppose; assumeI imagine he'll come
  4. (tr; takes a clause as object) to believe or assume without foundationhe imagines he knows the whole story
  5. an archaic word for plot 1
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sentence substitute
  1. Also: imagine that! an exclamation of surprise
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Derived Formsimaginable, adjectiveimaginably, adverbimaginer, noun

Word Origin for imagine

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


noun plural imagoes or imagines (ɪˈmædʒəˌniːz)
  1. an adult sexually mature insect produced after metamorphosis
  2. psychoanal an idealized image of another person, usually a parent, acquired in childhood and carried in the unconscious in later life
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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



mid-14c., "to form a mental image of," from Old French imaginer "sculpt, carve, paint; decorate, embellish" (13c.), from Latin imaginari "to form a mental picture to oneself, imagine" (also, in Late Latin imaginare "to form an image of, represent"), from imago (see image). Sense of "suppose" is first recorded late 14c. Related: Imagined; imagining.

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1797, from Latin imago "image" (see image).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

imagines in Medicine


(ĭ-māgō, ĭ-mä-)
n. pl. i•ma•goes
  1. An insect in its sexually mature adult stage after metamorphosis.
  2. An often idealized image of a person, usually a parent, formed in childhood and persisting unconsciously into adulthood.
  3. archetype
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

imagines in Science


Plural imagoes imagines (ĭ-māgə-nēz′)
  1. An insect in its sexually mature adult stage after metamorphosis. Compare larva nymph pupa.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.