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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[ih-maj-in] /ɪˈmædʒ ɪn/
verb (used with object), imagined, imagining.
to form a mental image of (something not actually present to the senses).
to think, believe, or fancy:
He imagined the house was haunted.
to assume; suppose:
I imagine they'll be here soon.
to conjecture; guess:
I cannot imagine what you mean.
Archaic. to plan, scheme, or plot.
verb (used without object), imagined, imagining.
to form mental images of things not present to the senses; use the imagination.
to suppose; think; conjecture.
Origin of imagine
1300-50; Middle English imaginen < Middle French imaginer < Latin imāginārī, equivalent to imāgin- (stem of imāgō) image + -ā- thematic vowel + -rī infinitive ending
Related forms
imaginer, noun
preimagine, verb (used with object), preimagined, preimagining.
reimagine, verb (used with object), reimagined, reimagining.
unimagined, adjective
well-imagined, adjective
1. image, picture. Imagine, conceive, conceive of, realize refer to bringing something before the mind. To imagine is, literally, to form a mental image of something: to imagine yourself in London. To conceive is to form something by using one's imagination: How has the author conceived the first act of his play? To conceive of is to comprehend through the intellect something not perceived through the senses: Wilson conceived of a world free from war. To realize is to make an imagined thing real or concrete to oneself, to grasp fully its implications: to realize the extent of one's folly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for imagining


(when transitive, may take a clause as object) to form a mental image of
(when transitive, may take a clause as object) to think, believe, or guess
(transitive; takes a clause as object) to suppose; assume: I imagine he'll come
(transitive; takes a clause as object) to believe or assume without foundation: he imagines he knows the whole story
an archaic word for plot1
sentence substitute
Also imagine that!. an exclamation of surprise
Derived Forms
imaginable, adjective
imaginably, adverb
imaginer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin imāginārī to fancy, picture mentally, from imāgō likeness; see image
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 imagining



mid-14c., "to form a mental image of," from Old French imaginer "sculpt, carve, paint; decorate, embellish" (13c.), from Latin imaginari "to form a mental picture to oneself, imagine" (also, in Late Latin imaginare "to form an image of, represent"), from imago (see image). Sense of "suppose" is first recorded late 14c. Related: Imagined; imagining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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