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imagine - definition and synonyms

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verb     imagine pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleimagining
past tenseimagined
past participleimagined
  1. 1
    [transitive] to form a picture of something or someone in your mind

    She tried to imagine the scene.

    imagine (that):

    Imagine that you are lying on a beach.

    imagine (someone) doing something:

    Imagine yourself sitting behind your big new desk.

    imagine someone/something as something:

    I imagine him as a distinguished old gentleman.

    imagine someone/something to be something:

    I think they imagine the company to be bigger than it is.

    1. a.
      to have an idea of what something is like or what it might be like

      It’s hard to imagine a more unpleasant job.

      imagine/you can imagine/just imagine something:

      Imagine my surprise when they announced I had won!

      imagine (that):

      He had never imagined that digging was such hard work.

      imagine what/why/how etc:

      You can imagine what the newspapers would do if they ever found out about this.

      fondly imagine (=have a mistaken idea about something):

      I had fondly imagined that riding a camel would be easy.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to have an idea that something exists or is happening, when in fact it does not exist or is not happening

    She always imagines the worst (=thinks the worst possible thing has happened).

    ‘There! I heard it again!’ ‘There’s nothing there – you’re just imagining things!’

    imagine (that):

    In these situations, you imagine everyone is laughing at you.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] used for showing that you are surprised by something or cannot believe it
    imagine doing something:

    Imagine going out dressed like that!

    (just) imagine/imagine that:

    She now earns over 20 million dollars a film! Just imagine that!

  4. 4
    [transitive] to think that something is probably true

    It’s difficult, I imagine, to keep your interest alive after doing the job for 30 years.

    imagine (that):

    I imagine they’ve left already.

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