from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To form a mental picture or image of.
  • transitive v. To think; conjecture: I imagine you're right.
  • transitive v. To have a notion of or about without adequate foundation; fancy: She imagines herself to be a true artist.
  • intransitive v. To employ the imagination.
  • intransitive v. To make a guess; conjecture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To form a mental image of something; to envision or create something in one's mind.
  • v. To believe in something created by one's own mind.
  • v. To assume.
  • v. To conjecture or guess.
  • v. To use one's imagination.
  • v. To guess or conjecture.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To form images or conceptions; to conceive; to devise.
  • intransitive v. To think; to suppose.
  • transitive v. To form in the mind a notion or idea of; to form a mental image of; to conceive; to produce by the imagination.
  • transitive v. To contrive in purpose; to scheme; to devise; to compass; to purpose. See Compass, v. t., 5.
  • transitive v. To represent to one's self; to think; to believe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To form a mental image of; produce by the imagination; especially, to construct by the productive imagination.
  • To conceive in the mind; suppose; conjecture.
  • To contrive in purpose; scheme; devise.
  • = Syn. 1 and 2. Surmise, Guess, etc. (see conjecture), fancy, picture to one's self, apprehend, believe, suppose, deem. —3. To plan, frame. scheme.
  • To form images or conceptions; exercise imagination.
  • To suppose; fancy; think.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. expect, believe, or suppose
  • v. form a mental image of something that is not present or that is not the case


Middle English imaginen, from Old French imaginer, from Latin imāginārī, from imāgō, imāgin-, image.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French imaginer, from Latin imāginor, from imāginem, the accusative singular of imāgō ("a copy, likeness, image"). (Wiktionary)



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  • Railroad telegraphers' shorthand for "How soon can you obtain the information?" --US Railroad Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 26, 2013