Definition of imagination in English:



  • 1The faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.

    ‘she'd never been blessed with a vivid imagination’
    • ‘Your proposal is embarrassingly optimistic, like the product of a child's imagination.’
    • ‘But one thing was undeniable; that children have vivid imaginations.’
    • ‘One day as I was driving to a two-day business meeting, I let my imagination wander unchecked.’
    • ‘His radio program gave him the opportunity to use his fertile imagination to develop innovative comedy sketches.’
    • ‘Allowing young students to use their vivid imaginations helps them visualize their bodies moving in the water.’
    • ‘Let your imagination roam freely over the facts you have collected.’
    • ‘At times, considerable patience and a vivid imagination are required to get from the words to the underlying economics.’
    • ‘The fictional Cid, embodying the ideal Castilian, captured the popular imagination of generations.’
    • ‘The show compensated for narrative gaps with energetic appeals to the viewers' imagination.’
    • ‘In the first half of the twentieth century the engineering feats that gripped the public imagination were urban and industrial.’
    • ‘From the very beginning, then, landscape paintings have been products of artists' imaginations.’
    • ‘If nothing else, ginkgo seems to fire the imagination of ad writers.’
    • ‘He designed a series of lavish public celebrations to cement this image in the public imagination.’
    • ‘And in one sense there's nothing new about them - humanoid automata have captured the popular imagination for centuries.’
    • ‘And why does the grail continue to fire the imagination of writers and readers alike?’
    • ‘Here, though, the great man's imagination had failed him.’
    • ‘Constructed of pine, its painted surface is an exuberant expression of the artist's imagination and creativity.’
    • ‘I set the milk to warm on the stove, telling myself to stop listening to my own overactive imagination.’
    • ‘He said the tragedy still captured the public imagination and interest in it had not waned.’
    • ‘They also stimulate the imaginations of viewers, which is very personal and consequently very powerful.’
    imaginative faculty, creative power, fancy
    interest, fascination, attention, passion, curiosity, preoccupation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.
      ‘technology gives workers the chance to use their imagination’
      • ‘Invention and imagination were lacking in the home team's second-half effort.’
      • ‘There were so many that they surrounded you in a world of childhood fantasies, imagination, and creativity.’
      • ‘They had handled this demanding project with a great deal of creativity and imagination.’
      • ‘Our attacking play didn't work out the way I wanted it to because we lacked imagination and clout in midfield.’
      • ‘One suspects that it is not nature's limitation so much as it is the author's lack of imagination.’
      • ‘The first barrier is the lack of imagination and creativity in resourcing in schools.’
      • ‘The absence of dynamics throughout is due to a lack of imagination with the drum and bass work.’
      • ‘When they had possession their use of the ball lacked imagination or accuracy.’
      • ‘My aim is to give the chance to create as much as possible in our minds, through creativity and imagination.’
      • ‘The garden lacked beauty and mystery and I lacked creative imagination.’
      • ‘Well, perhaps it's a lack of imagination on the part of ownership.’
      • ‘When will it dawn on them that we are capable of creating jobs by way of our own indigenous resources and imagination?’
      • ‘In reality, their clothing demonstrated their complete lack of imagination.’
      • ‘The real treasures are the gardens, where imagination and creativity were given free rein.’
      • ‘There is a lack of imagination surrounding special educational provision in this area which is alarming.’
      • ‘York applied all the pressure with Leeds being forced to attack on the break, but they lacked imagination and guile.’
      • ‘Judges placed high value on entries that demonstrated imagination, originality and flair.’
      • ‘They are literary parasites, the enemies of creativity and imagination.’
      • ‘I am rather taken by his style, but am disappointed by his lack of imagination.’
      • ‘Was it a lack of mental ability, foresight and imagination that was needed many years ago to regenerate what was once a fine city?’
      creativity, imaginativeness, creativeness
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2The part of the mind that imagines things.
      ‘a girl who existed only in my imagination’
      • ‘Therefore, you're acting on the stage of the imagination of the audience.’
      • ‘It can lead an audience to open their hearts and minds and imaginations.’
      • ‘These cabin tours can be as inventive as campers' imaginations will allow.’
      • ‘In these the imagination invents the rhythms to which the observed details will give a solid presence.’
      • ‘They're about ideas, the imagination and discovering other possibilities.’
      • ‘You don't have that kind of issue in Asia, so their minds and imaginations are less clouded.’


Middle English: via Old French from Latin imaginatio(n-), from the verb imaginari picture to oneself from imago, imagin- image.