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imagination

[ih-maj-uh-ney-shuh n] /ɪˌmædʒ əˈneɪ ʃən/
noun
1.
the faculty of imagining, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.
2.
the action or process of forming such images or concepts.
3.
the faculty of producing ideal creations consistent with reality, as in literature, as distinct from the power of creating illustrative or decorative imagery.
Compare fancy (def 2).
4.
the product of imagining; a conception or mental creation, often a baseless or fanciful one.
5.
ability to face and resolve difficulties; resourcefulness:
a job that requires imagination.
6.
Psychology. the power of reproducing images stored in the memory under the suggestion of associated images (reproductive imagination) or of recombining former experiences in the creation of new images directed at a specific goal or aiding in the solution of problems (creative imagination)
7.
(in Kantian epistemology) synthesis of data from the sensory manifold into objects by means of the categories.
8.
Archaic. a plan, scheme, or plot.
Origin of imagination
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English < Latin imāginātiōn- (stem of imāginātiō) fancy, equivalent to imāgināt(us) past participle of imāginārī to imagine (imāgin-, stem of imāgō image + -ātus -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
imaginational, adjective
nonimaginational, adjective
Synonyms
3. See fancy. 5. ingenuity, enterprise, thought.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for imagination
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If she could have set her imagination free in an art she would have been far safer than she was.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • They are barren, till the imagination has tenanted them with possibilities of danger and dismay.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • But as a matter of fact my imagination is not made of stuff so elastic as all that.

    Notes on My Books Joseph Conrad
  • The miseries of Tasso arose not only from the imagination and the heart.

  • Crimmins spat carefully, as if to stimulate his imagination.

    Garrison's Finish W. B. M. Ferguson
British Dictionary definitions for imagination

imagination

/ɪˌmædʒɪˈneɪʃən/
noun
1.
the faculty or action of producing ideas, esp mental images of what is not present or has not been experienced
2.
mental creative ability
3.
the ability to deal resourcefully with unexpected or unusual problems, circumstances, etc
4.
(in romantic literary criticism, esp that of S. T. Coleridge) a creative act of perception that joins passive and active elements in thinking and imposes unity on the poetic material Compare fancy (sense 9)
Derived Forms
imaginational, adjective
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 imagination
n.

"faculty of the mind which forms and manipulates images," mid-14c., ymaginacion, from Old French imaginacion "concept, mental picture; hallucination," from Latin imaginationem (nominative imaginatio) "imagination, a fancy," noun of action from past participle stem of imaginari (see imagine).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with imagination

imagination

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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14
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