Definition of Imagination

1. Noun. The formation of a mental image of something that is not perceived as real and is not present to the senses. "Imagination reveals what the world could be"

2. Noun. The ability to form mental images of things or events. "He could still hear her in his imagination"

3. Noun. The ability to deal resourcefully with unusual problems. "A man of resource"
Exact synonyms: Resource, Resourcefulness
Generic synonyms: Cleverness, Ingeniousness, Ingenuity, Inventiveness
Specialized synonyms: Armory, Armoury, Inventory
Derivative terms: Resourceful

Definition of Imagination

1. n. The imagine-making power of the mind; the power to create or reproduce ideally an object of sense previously perceived; the power to call up mental imagines.

Definition of Imagination

1. Noun. The image-making power of the mind; the act of creating or reproducing ideally an object not previously perceived; the ability to create such images. ¹

2. Noun. Particularly, construction of false images; fantasizing. ¹

3. Noun. Creativity; resourcefulness. ¹

4. Noun. A mental image formed by the action of the imagination as a faculty; a conception; a notion; an imagining; something imagined. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Imagination

1. [n -S]

Medical Definition of Imagination

1. 1. The imagine-making power of the mind; the power to create or reproduce ideally an object of sense previously perceived; the power to call up mental imagines. "Our simple apprehension of corporeal objects, if present, is sense; if absent, is imagination." (Glanvill) "Imagination is of three kinds: joined with belief of that which is to come; joined with memory of that which is past; and of things present, or as if they were present." (Bacon) 2. The representative power; the power to reconstruct or recombine the materials furnished by direct apprehension; the complex faculty usually termed the plastic or creative power; the fancy. "The imagination of common language the productive imagination of philosophers is nothing but the representative process plus the process to which I would give the name of the "comparative."" (Sir W. Hamilton) "The power of the mind to decompose its conceptions, and to recombine the elements of them at its pleasure, is called its faculty of imagination." (I. Taylor) "The business of conception is to present us with an exact transcript of what we have felt or perceived. But we have moreover a power of modifying our conceptions, by combining the parts of different ones together, so as to form new wholes of our creation. I shall employ the word imagination to express this power." (Stewart) 3. The power to recombine the materials furnished by experience or memory, for the accomplishment of an elevated purpose; the power of conceiving and expressing the ideal. "The lunatic, the lover, and the poet Are of imagination all compact . . . The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven, And as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name." (Shak) 4. A mental image formed by the action of the imagination as a faculty; a conception; a notion. Synonym: Conception, idea, conceit, fancy, device, origination, invention, scheme, design, purpose, contrivance. Imagination, Fancy. These words have, to a great extent, been interchanged by our best writers, and considered as strictly synonymous. A distinction, however, is now made between them which more fully exhibits their nature. Properly speaking, they are different exercises of the same general power the plastic or creative faculty. Imagination consists in taking parts of our conceptions and combining them into new forms and images more select, more striking, more delightful, more terrible, etc, than those of ordinary nature. It is the higher exercise of the two. It creates by laws more closely connected with the reason; it has strong emotion as its actuating and formative cause; it aims at results of a definite and weighty character. Milton's fiery lake, the debates of his Pandemonium, the exquisite scenes of his Paradise, are all products of the imagination. Fancy moves on a lighter wing; it is governed by laws of association which are more remote, and sometimes arbitrary or capricious. Hence the term fanciful, which exhibits fancy in its wilder flights. It has for its actuating spirit feelings of a lively, gay, and versatile character; it seeks to please by unexpected combinations of thought, startling contrasts, flashes of brilliant imagery, etc. Pope's Rape of the Lock is an exhibition of fancy which has scarcely its equal in the literature of any country. "This, for instance, Wordworth did in respect of the words 'imagination' and 'fancy.' Before he wrote, it was, I suppose, obscurely felt by most that in 'imagination' there was more of the earnest, in 'fancy' of the play of the spirit; that the first was a loftier faculty and gift than the second; yet for all this words were continually, and not without loss, confounded. He first, in the preface to his Lyrical Ballads, rendered it henceforth impossible that any one, who had read and mastered what he has written on the two words, should remain unconscious any longer of the important difference between them." . "The same power, which we should call fancy if employed on a production of a light nature, would be dignified with the title of imagination if shown on a grander scale." (C. J. Smith) Origin: OE. Imaginacionum, F. Imagination, fr. L. Imaginatio. See Imagine. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Imagination Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Imagination

imaginary axis
imaginary being
imaginary creature
imaginary number
imaginary numbers
imaginary part
imaginary part of a complex number
imaginary parts
imaginary place
imaginary unit
imaginary units
imagination image
imaginative comparison

Literary usage of Imagination

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Spectator by Joseph Addison, Richard Steele (1830)
"are qualified to please the imagination; with which I intend to conclude this essay. O. No. 420.] Wednesday, July 2, 1712. PAPER X. ON THE PLEASURES OF THE ..."

2. Psychology, General Introduction by Charles Hubbard Judd (1917)
"the forms of critical scientific imagination nothing could be more natural than a myth. Even the trained mind derives pleasure from the personification of ..."

3. The Spectator: With Sketches of the Lives of the Authors, an Index, and by Joseph Addison, Richard Steele (1853)
"Thus we see how many ways poetry addresses itself to the imagination, as it has not only the whole circle of nature for its province, but makes new worlds ..."

4. Education by Project Innovation (Organization) (1904)
"The imagination, we are sometimes told, is a dangerous faculty ; it leads to ... Seriously, what can be accomplished without aid from the imagination? ..."

5. The Principles of Psychology by William James (1908)
"That peripheral sensory processes are ordinarily involved in imagination seems improbable ; that they may sometimes be aroused from the cortex downwards ..."

6. A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental by David ( Hume (1898)
"Whatever pleasure was most attractive in imagination would determine desire, and, through it, action, which would be the only measure of the amount of the ..."

7. The American Journal of Psychology by Granville Stanley Hall, Edward Bradford Titchener (1910)
""especially must we insist upon the prominence of motor consciousness in the neural conditions of productive imagination; ..."

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