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reproductive imagination

See under imagination (def 6).


[ih-maj-uh-ney-shuh n] /ɪˌmædʒ əˈneɪ ʃən/
the faculty of imagining, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.
the action or process of forming such images or concepts.
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).
the product of imagining; a conception or mental creation, often a baseless or fanciful one.
ability to face and resolve difficulties; resourcefulness:
a job that requires imagination.
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)
(in Kantian epistemology) synthesis of data from the sensory manifold into objects by means of the categories.
Archaic. a plan, scheme, or plot.
Origin of imagination
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
3. See fancy. 5. ingenuity, enterprise, thought. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for reproductive imagination
Historical Examples
  • But the memory or remembrance of the same person when he is absent from sight is practically that of reproductive imagination.

    Your Mind and How to Use It William Walker Atkinson
  • But the semi-darkness of the cave tends, as do few other places, to stimulate the reproductive imagination.

  • The unstable form has its starting point directly and immediately in the reproductive imagination without creation.

  • It should, however, be noted that what has just been said does not take us beyond the reproductive imagination—beyond memory.

  • Give original examples of each kind of reproductive imagination.

    The Art of Public Speaking Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein
British Dictionary definitions for reproductive imagination


the faculty or action of producing ideas, esp mental images of what is not present or has not been experienced
mental creative ability
the ability to deal resourcefully with unexpected or unusual problems, circumstances, etc
(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 reproductive imagination



"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 reproductive imagination


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