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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


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
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


To form mental images of:
Informal: feature.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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 ...
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[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
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= 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
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[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
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


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
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
You could imagine you were dwelling in marble halls, couldn't you?
"Augusta (replied the noble Youth) I thought you had a better opinion of me, than to imagine I would so abjectly degrade myself as to consider my Father's Concurrence in any of my affairs, either of Consequence or concern to me.
His parchment skin, showing dead white on his cranium through the thin wisps of dirty brown hair, seemed to be glued directly and tightly upon his big bones, Without being in any way deformed, he was the nearest approach which I have ever seen or could imagine to what is commonly understood by the word "monster." That the source of the effect produced was really moral I have no doubt.
Now that those who practise justice do so involuntarily and because they have not the power to be unjust will best appear if we imagine something of this kind: having given both to the just and the unjust power to do what they will, let us watch and see whither desire will lead them; then we shall discover in the very act the just and unjust man to be proceeding along the same road, following their interest, which all natures deem to be their good, and are only diverted into the path of justice by the force of law.
And this, try as I would, was just what I could not imagine.
The reader, from what hath been said, may imagine that the reconciliation (if indeed it could be so called) was only matter of form; we shall therefore pass it over, and hasten to what must surely be thought matter of substance.
But, on the other hand, she could not admit herself to be unhappy, nor, after the first morning, to be less disposed for employment than usual; she was still busy and cheerful; and, pleasing as he was, she could yet imagine him to have faults; and farther, though thinking of him so much, and, as she sat drawing or working, forming a thousand amusing schemes for the progress and close of their attachment, fancying interesting dialogues, and inventing elegant letters; the conclusion of every imaginary declaration on his side was that she refused him.
And it must be noted that I say of our reason, and not of our imagination or of our senses: thus, for example, although we very clearly see the sun, we ought not therefore to determine that it is only of the size which our sense of sight presents; and we may very distinctly imagine the head of a lion joined to the body of a goat, without being therefore shut up to the conclusion that a chimaera exists; for it is not a dictate of reason that what we thus see or imagine is in reality existent; but it plainly tells us that all our ideas or notions contain in them some truth; for otherwise it could not be that God, who is wholly perfect and veracious, should have placed them in us.
The youth began to imagine that he had got into the center of the tremendous quarrel, and he could perceive no way out of it.
"I imagine that Freemasonry is the fraternity and equality of men who have virtuous aims," said Pierre, feeling ashamed of the inadequacy of his words for the solemnity of the moment, as he spoke.
Imagine a woman duly decorated, according to the new Code; with the front half (i.e.
You imagine no doubt, gentlemen, that I want to amuse you.