Definition of imagine in English:

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Pronunciation: /iˈmajən/


[with object]
1Form a mental image or concept of: imagine a road trip from Philadelphia to Chicago [with clause]: I couldn’t imagine what she expected to tell them
More example sentences
  • But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine something like this could have happened.
  • I had expected some reaction from imagining stories of those who did not make it home.
  • The images of them flying around the house imagining themselves as their favourite anime hero is too cute.
visualize, envisage, envision, picture, see in the mind's eye;
dream up, think up/of, conjure up, conceive, conceptualize
formal ideate
1.1 (often as adjective imagined) Believe (something unreal or untrue) to exist or be so: they suffered from ill health, real or imagined, throughout their lives
More example sentences
  • I would even have believed that I imagined the whole thing, except that there was a cold bottle of water left on the seat next to me.
  • He shrugged and resumed his watch with a sigh after moments of silence, believing he had imagined the noise.
  • Few architects draw strange shapes for their own sake: there is usually some kind of real or imagined logic driving them.
2 [with clause] Suppose or assume: after Ned died, everyone imagined that Mabel would move away
More example sentences
  • I think everyone imagines that they are either ‘live’ or far more recent.
  • If the paranoid imagines that everyone he meets is involved in a nebulous pattern of malign intentions, in his accident scene the harm was literal and the direct cause perceptible.
  • We are supposed to imagine that this telephone conversation could be taking place right now.
assume, presume, expect, take it, presuppose;
suppose, think (it likely), dare say, surmise, believe, be of the view, figure
informal guess, reckon
formal opine
2.1 [as exclamation] Just suppose: imagine! to outwit Heydrich!



Example sentences
  • She makes her intellectual project ‘an effort to avert the critical gaze from the racial object to the racial subject; from the described and imagined to the describers and imaginers…’
  • For all you imaginers out there, imagine it vividly.
  • He regards his work with a similar reverence, pointing to the fact that he sees himself not simply as creative imaginer but as interpreter and communicator of a further world existing alongside this one.


Middle English: from Old French imaginer, from Latin imaginare 'form an image of, represent' and imaginari 'picture to oneself', both from imago, imagin- 'image'.

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Syllabification: im·ag·ine

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