Share this entry

imagine Line breaks: im|agine
Pronunciation: /ɪˈmadʒɪn/

Definition of imagine in English:


[with object]
1Form a mental image or concept of: she imagined him at his desk, his head in his hands [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, form a picture of, see in the mind's eye, conjure up, conceptualize;
plan, project, scheme
1.1Believe (something unreal or untrue) to exist or be so: she was overtired and imagining things (as adjective imagined) 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, take it for granted, take it as read, take it as given, presuppose;
suppose, think it likely, dare say, think, surmise, conjecture, believe, be of the opinion that, fancy, feel, be of the view, be under the impression;
North American figure
informal guess, reckon
formal opine
archaic ween


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



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.

Words that rhyme with imagine

margin • engine

Definition of imagine in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coiffeur
Pronunciation: kwɑːˈfəː
a hairdresser