• synonyms


[im-uh-jiz-uh m]
noun Literature.
  1. (often initial capital letter) a theory or practice of a group of poets in England and America between 1909 and 1917 who believed that poetry should employ the language of common speech, create new rhythms, have complete freedom in subject matter, and present a clear, concentrated, and precise image.
  2. a style of poetry that employs free verse and the patterns and rhythms of common speech.
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Origin of imagism

First recorded in 1910–15; image + -ism
Related formsim·ag·ist, noun, adjectiveim·ag·is·tic, adjectiveim·ag·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for imagist

Historical Examples

  • The Imagist fights for "free verse" as for the principle of liberty.

    Confessions of a Book-Lover

    Maurice Francis Egan

  • Who will endow the local photoplay and the Imagist photoplay?

  • The Imagist does not believe in ornament, and this glimpse of character might be uttered in one sentence.

    Confessions of a Book-Lover

    Maurice Francis Egan

  • Their impressionist, imagist, futurist theories make them too self-conscious.

    Suspended Judgments

    John Cowper Powys

  • In the seventeenth chapter it is shown that one type of the Intimate might be classed as imagist.

British Dictionary definitions for imagist


  1. a poetic movement in England and America between 1912 and 1917, initiated chiefly by Ezra Pound, advocating the use of ordinary speech and the precise presentation of images
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Derived Formsimagist, noun, adjectiveimagistic, adjectiveimagistically, adverb
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 imagist



name of a movement in poetry that sought clarity of expression through use of precise visual images, "hard light, clear edges," coined 1912 by Ezra Pound; see image + -ism. Related: Imagist.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper