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[im-ij-ree, im-i-juh-ree] /ˈɪm ɪdʒ ri, ˈɪm ɪ dʒə ri/
noun, plural imageries.
the formation of mental images, figures, or likenesses of things, or of such images collectively:
the dim imagery of a dream.
pictorial images, as in works of art.
the use of rhetorical images.
figurative description or illustration; rhetorical images collectively.
Psychology. mental images collectively, especially those produced by the action of imagination.
Origin of imagery
1275-1325; Middle English imagerie < Old French. See image, -ery
Related forms
[im-uh-jeer-ee-uh l] /ˌɪm əˈdʒɪər i əl/ (Show IPA),
imagerially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for imagery
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now that, in inspiration and imagery, is very clearly derived from native legendary sources.

  • "Your imagery is really charming," remarked Hortebise sarcastically.

    Caught In The Net Emile Gaboriau
  • No more Tudor roses and pumped-out Christian imagery suggesting that Christianity is dead and buried!

  • What—having the gift of imagery—should we by preference endeavour to image?

  • God, as manifested in his providential government, is properly exhibited to us in the imagery of the text.

    Bible Emblems Edward E. Seelye
British Dictionary definitions for imagery


/ˈɪmɪdʒrɪ; -dʒərɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
figurative or descriptive language in a literary work
images collectively
  1. the materials or general processes of the imagination
  2. the characteristic kind of mental images formed by a particular individual See also image (sense 7), imagination (sense 1)
(military) the presentation of objects reproduced photographically (by infrared or electronic means) as prints or electronic displays
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
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Word Origin and History for imagery

mid-14c., "piece of sculpture, carved figures," from Old French imagerie (13c.), from imagier "painter," from image (see image (n.)). Meaning "ornate description" (in poetry, etc.) is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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imagery in Medicine

imagery im·age·ry (ĭm'ĭj-rē)

  1. A set of mental pictures or images.

  2. A technique in behavior therapy in which the patient is conditioned to use pleasant fantasies to counteract the unpleasant feelings associated with anxiety.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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imagery in Culture

imagery definition

The mental pictures created by a piece of writing: “The imagery of “The Waste Land” — crumbling towers, dried-up wells, toppled tombstones — conveys the author's sense of a civilization in decay.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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imagery in the Bible

only in the phrase "chambers of his imagery" (Ezek. 8:12). (See CHAMBER.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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