(redirected from imagining)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms.


v. i·mag·ined, i·mag·in·ing, i·mag·ines
1. To form a mental picture or image of: imagined a better life abroad.
2. To think or suppose; conjecture: I imagine you're right.
3. To have a notion of or about without adequate foundation; fancy or believe: She imagines herself to be a true artist.
1. To employ the imagination.
2. To have a belief or make a guess.

[Middle English imaginen, from Old French imaginer, from Latin imāginārī, from imāgō, imāgin-, image; see aim- in Indo-European roots.]

i·mag′in·er n.


1. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to form a mental image of
2. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to think, believe, or guess
3. (tr; takes a clause as object) to suppose; assume: I imagine he'll come.
4. (tr; takes a clause as object) to believe or assume without foundation: he imagines he knows the whole story.
5. an archaic word for plot1
sentence substitute
Also: imagine that! an exclamation of surprise
[C14: from Latin imāginārī to fancy, picture mentally, from imāgō likeness; see image]
iˈmaginable adj
iˈmaginableness n
iˈmaginably adv
iˈmaginer n


(ɪˈmædʒ ɪn)

v. -ined, -in•ing. v.t.
1. to form a mental image of (something not actually present to the senses).
2. to believe; fancy: He imagined the house was haunted.
3. to assume; suppose: I imagine they'll be here soon.
4. to conjecture; guess: I cannot imagine what you mean.
5. to form mental images of things not present to the senses.
6. to conjecture.
[1300–50; Middle English < Middle French imaginer < Latin imāginārī, derivative of imāgō, s. of imāgin- image]
i•mag′in•er, n.


If you imagine a situation, you think about it and your mind forms a picture or idea of it.

It is difficult to imagine such a huge building.
Try to imagine you're on a beautiful beach.

You can use an -ing form after imagine.

It is hard to imagine anyone being so cruel.
She could not imagine living with Daniel.

Be Careful!
Don't use a to-infinitive after imagine. Don't say, for example, 'She could not imagine to live with Daniel'.

If you imagine something is true, you think it is probably true.

I imagine it would be difficult to make money from a business like that.
I imagine that he finds his work very satisfying.

You can say 'I imagine so' or 'I would imagine so' if someone asks you if something is true and you think that it probably is.

'Could he get through that window?' – 'I imagine so.'
'Was that why she left?' – 'I would imagine so.'

Be Careful!
Don't say 'I imagine it'.

Instead of saying that you 'imagine something is not' true, you usually say that you don't imagine it is true.

I don't imagine we'll have a problem, anyway.


Past participle: imagined
Gerund: imagining

I imagine
you imagine
he/she/it imagines
we imagine
you imagine
they imagine
I imagined
you imagined
he/she/it imagined
we imagined
you imagined
they imagined
Present Continuous
I am imagining
you are imagining
he/she/it is imagining
we are imagining
you are imagining
they are imagining
Present Perfect
I have imagined
you have imagined
he/she/it has imagined
we have imagined
you have imagined
they have imagined
Past Continuous
I was imagining
you were imagining
he/she/it was imagining
we were imagining
you were imagining
they were imagining
Past Perfect
I had imagined
you had imagined
he/she/it had imagined
we had imagined
you had imagined
they had imagined
I will imagine
you will imagine
he/she/it will imagine
we will imagine
you will imagine
they will imagine
Future Perfect
I will have imagined
you will have imagined
he/she/it will have imagined
we will have imagined
you will have imagined
they will have imagined
Future Continuous
I will be imagining
you will be imagining
he/she/it will be imagining
we will be imagining
you will be imagining
they will be imagining
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been imagining
you have been imagining
he/she/it has been imagining
we have been imagining
you have been imagining
they have been imagining
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been imagining
you will have been imagining
he/she/it will have been imagining
we will have been imagining
you will have been imagining
they will have been imagining
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been imagining
you had been imagining
he/she/it had been imagining
we had been imagining
you had been imagining
they had been imagining
I would imagine
you would imagine
he/she/it would imagine
we would imagine
you would imagine
they would imagine
Past Conditional
I would have imagined
you would have imagined
he/she/it would have imagined
we would have imagined
you would have imagined
they would have imagined
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.imagine - form a mental image of something that is not present or that is not the case; "Can you conceive of him as the president?"
create by mental act, create mentally - create mentally and abstractly rather than with one's hands
envision, fancy, picture, visualize, image, visualise, figure, see, project - imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind; "I can't see him on horseback!"; "I can see what will happen"; "I can see a risk in this strategy"
visualise, visualize - form a mental picture of something that is invisible or abstract; "Mathematicians often visualize"
envision, foresee - picture to oneself; imagine possible; "I cannot envision him as President"
fantasise, fantasize - portray in the mind; "he is fantasizing the ideal wife"
prefigure - imagine or consider beforehand; "It wasn't as bad as I had prefigured"
think - imagine or visualize; "Just think--you could be rich one day!"; "Think what a scene it must have been!"
fantasise, fantasize, fantasy - indulge in fantasies; "he is fantasizing when he says he plans to start his own company"
daydream, dream, woolgather, stargaze - have a daydream; indulge in a fantasy
2.imagine - expect, believe, or suppose; "I imagine she earned a lot of money with her new novel"; "I thought to find her in a bad state"; "he didn't think to find her in the kitchen"; "I guess she is angry at me for standing her up"
anticipate, expect - regard something as probable or likely; "The meteorologists are expecting rain for tomorrow"
suspect - hold in suspicion; believe to be guilty; "The U.S. suspected Bin Laden as the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks"


1. envisage, see, picture, plan, create, project, think of, scheme, frame, invent, devise, conjure up, envision, visualize, dream up (informal), think up, conceive of, conceptualize, fantasize about, see in the mind's eye, form a mental picture of He could not imagine a more peaceful scene.
2. believe, think, suppose, assume, suspect, gather, guess (informal, chiefly U.S. & Canad.), realize, take it, reckon, fancy, deem, speculate, presume, take for granted, infer, deduce, apprehend, conjecture, surmise I imagine you're referring to me.
3. dream, fancy, visualize, envisage, conjure up, hallucinate Looking back, I think I must have imagined the whole thing.


To form mental images of:
Informal: feature.
يَتَخَيَّلُيَتَخَيَّليَعْتَقِد، يَفْتَرِضيَنَصَوَّر، يَتَخَيَّل
představit sividět ve své fantaziidomnívat sepředpokládat
bilde sig indforestille (sig)forestille sigformodetro
gera sér í hugarlundímynda sér
lakiõs vaizduotės
vidieť vo svojej fantázii
predstavljati sipredvidevati
föreställa sig
anlamakhayal etmekhayal etmek/görmeksanmaktahmin etmek
tưởng tượng


[ɪˈmædʒɪn] VT
1. (= visualize) → imaginarse, figurarse
imagine my surpriseimagínate or figúrate mi sorpresa
you can imagine how I felt!¡imagínate or figúrate cómo me sentí!
(just) imagine!¡imagínate!, ¡figúrate!
"is he angry?" - "I imagine so!"-¿está enfadado? -¡me imagino que sí!
I can't imagine a better end to the eveningla noche no podría acabar mejor
I (just) can't imagineno me lo puedo imaginar
what he's done with it I (just) can't imagineno tengo ni idea de qué puede haber hecho con ello
you can't begin to imagine what it was likeno puedes hacerte (ni) idea de lo que fue aquello
imagine yourself on a Caribbean islandimagínate (que estás) en una isla del Caribe
2. (= falsely believe) you're just imagining thingste lo estás imaginando, son imaginaciones tuyas
he imagined himself to be the Messiahse creía or se imaginaba que era el Mesías
3. (= suppose, think) → suponer, creer
don't imagine that you're going to get it freeno te vayas a pensar or no te creas que te va a salir gratis
she fondly imagines thatse hace la ilusión de que ...


[ɪˈmædʒɪn] vt
(= see in one's imagination) → imaginer
He could not imagine a more peaceful scene → Il ne pouvait imaginer plus paisible scène., Il ne pouvait imaginer une scène plus paisible.
You can imagine how I felt! → Tu peux imaginer ce que j'ai ressenti!
to imagine (that) ... → imaginer que ...
Imagine you're lying on a beach → Imaginez que vous êtes allongé sur une plage.
(= suppose) → imaginer
I imagine so → J'imagine que oui
"Is he angry?" - "I imagine so." → "Est-ce qu'il est en colère?" - "J'imagine que oui."
to imagine (that) ... → imaginer que ...
I imagine he wants to hold your hand → J'imagine qu'il veut te prendre la main.
(= have an idea in one's head) to imagine (that) ... → s'imaginer que ...
We tend to imagine that the Victorians were very prim and proper → Nous avons tendance à nous imaginer que les Victoriens étaient des gens très collet monté.
(= dream) → imaginer


(= picture to oneself)sich (dat)vorstellen, sich (dat)denken; imagine you’re rich/lying on a beachstellen Sie sich mal vor, Sie wären reich/lägen am Strand; he imagined himself kissing herer stellte sich vor, sie zu küssen; you can imagine how I feltSie können sich vorstellen, wie mir zumute or zu Mute war; you can’t imagine how …Sie machen sich kein Bild or Sie können sich nicht vorstellen wie …; I can’t imagine living thereich kann mir nicht vorstellen, dort zu leben; just imagine my surprisestellen Sie sich nur meine Überraschung vor; you can’t imagine it!Sie machen sich keine Vorstellungen!; as may (well) be imaginedwie man sich (leicht) denken or vorstellen kann
(= be under the illusion that)sich (dat)einbilden; don’t imagine that …bilden Sie sich nur nicht ein, dass …, denken Sie nur nicht, dass …; he is always imagining things (inf)er leidet ständig an Einbildungen; you’re (just) imagining things (inf)Sie bilden sich das alles nur ein
(= suppose, conjecture)annehmen, vermuten; is that her father? — I would imagine soist das ihr Vater? — ich denke schon; I would never have imagined he could have done thatich hätte nie gedacht, dass er das tun würde; I imagined her to be dark-hairedich habe sie mir dunkelhaarig vorgestellt


[ɪˈmædʒɪn] vt
a. (visualize) → immaginare, immaginarsi
just imagine! → pensa un po'!
you can imagine how I felt → puoi immaginare or immaginarti come mi sono sentito
you are just imagining things → che idee!, è tutto frutto della tua immaginazione
b. (suppose, think) → immaginare, credere
I never imagined that he would be there → non avrei mai immaginato che lui sarebbe stato lì


(iˈmӕdʒin) verb
1. to form a mental picture of (something). I can imagine how you felt.
2. to see or hear etc (something which is not true or does not exist). Children often imagine that there are frightening animals under their beds; You're just imagining things!
3. to think; to suppose. I imagine (that) he will be late.
iˈmaginary adjective
existing only in the mind or imagination; not real. Her illnesses are usually imaginary.
iˌmagiˈnation noun
1. (the part of the mind which has) the ability to form mental pictures. I can see it all in my imagination.
2. the creative ability of a writer etc. This book shows a lot of imagination.
3. the seeing etc of things which do not exist. There was no-one there – it was just your imagination.
iˈmaginative (-nətiv) , ((American) -neitiv) adjective
(negative unimaginative) having, or created with, imagination. an imaginative writer; This essay is interesting and imaginative.


يَتَخَيَّلُ představit si forestille (sig) vorstellen (sich) φαντάζομαι imaginar kuvitella imaginer zamisliti immaginare 想像する 상상하다 zich voorstellen forestille (seg) wyobrazić sobie imaginar воображать föreställa sig วาดมโนภาพ hayal etmek tưởng tượng 想象
References in classic literature ?
Staring up into the green gloom of the horse-chestnut trees above him, he dreamed dreams of all sorts, and was just imagining himself tossing on the ocean in a voyage round the world, when the sound of voices brought him ashore in a flash.
In the darkness the young reporter found himself imagining that he sat on the railroad ties beside a comely young man with black hair and black shining eyes.
Endowed with commonsense, as massive and hard as blocks of granite, fastened together by stern rigidity of purpose, as with iron clamps, he followed out his original design, probably without so much as imagining an objection to it.
Nevertheless, vixenly as she looks, many people are seeking at this very moment to shelter themselves under the wing of the federal eagle; imagining, I presume, that her bosom has all the softness and snugness of an eiderdown pillow.
And what that is, we may soon gain some idea of, by imagining all the grave-yards, cemeteries, and family vaults of creation yielding up the live bodies of all the men, women, and children who were alive seventy-five years ago; and adding this countless host to the present human population of the globe.
Teta Elzbieta would put the clothesbasket in which the baby slept alongside of his mattress, and Jurgis would lie upon one elbow and watch him by the hour, imagining things.
The psychologist tells us of a state, in which the affections and images of the mind become so dominant and overpowering, that they press into their service the outward imagining.
I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow men.
Well, it took my mind off from every- thing else; took it clear off, and centered it in my helmet; and mile after mile, there it stayed, imagining the handkerchief, picturing the handkerchief; and it was bitter and aggravating to have the salt sweat keep trickling down into my eyes, and I couldn't get at it.
One afternoon I got lost in the woods about a mile from the hotel, and presently fell into a train of dreamy thought about animals which talk, and kobolds, and enchanted folk, and the rest of the pleasant legendary stuff; and so, by stimulating my fancy, I finally got to imagining I glimpsed small flitting shapes here and there down the columned aisles of the forest.
Then he went to work on the nigger, coaxing him and petting him, and asking him if he'd been imagining he saw something again.
New angels are like the militia - never shed the uniform - always fluttering and floundering around in their wings, butting people down, flapping here, and there, and everywhere, always imagining they are attracting the admiring eye - well, they just think they are the very most important people in heaven.