Definition of imaginal in US English:



  • 1Relating to an image.

    ‘imaginal education methods’
    • ‘These include cognitive, emotive, imaginal, and behavioural methods.’
    • ‘Our imagination is socially shaped; we get our repertoire of images from the society's imaginal world, though we also contribute to that world in turn.’
    • ‘Australian Aboriginal culture is about everything in the imaginal realm and everything in the natural environment.’
    • ‘Every perception enters an imaginal file, buds in arrest until swayed by a life-shifting rain or the blight of the news of an unknown person's death.’
    • ‘How do you make the richness of your imaginal life work for you - rather than against - in everyday reality?’
  • 2Entomology
    Relating to an adult insect or imago.

    • ‘In third instar larvae the reporter gene is intensively expressed in all the imaginal discs, in the larval gonads, in the imaginal ring cells of salivary glands, and in the ring gland.’
    • ‘In lepidopterans, extirpation of imaginal wing discs in the final instar delays pupation in order for the larva to regenerate lost tissue.’
    • ‘It was necessary to include these last two stages before the imaginal molt because development of alates was not completely synchronized; these nymphs and alates were present from April - mid August, when nuptial flights begin.’
    • ‘Concurrently, the precursors of adult structures - the imaginal discs, imaginal rings, imaginal islands, and histoblast nests - undergo dramatic morphogenetic changes.’
    • ‘Late instars were isolated into same sex groups prior to the imaginal molt to ensure virginity.’


Late 19th century: from Latin imago, imagin- ‘image’ + -al.