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See more synonyms for imagine on Thesaurus.com
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


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for imagining

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • His brother; imagining he had gone abroad, was unacquainted with his danger.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • His earthly future, a future of his own imagining, drew him.

    Heather and Snow

    George MacDonald

  • She smiled to herself again, imagining question and answer with Ruffo.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • He clasped her gently, imagining that he might calm her by his embrace.

  • They are searching the shop, knocking the books about, imagining we are hidden among them!

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

British Dictionary definitions for imagining


  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

C14: from Latin imāginārī to fancy, picture mentally, from imāgō 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 imagining



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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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper