Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: French
Origin: imaginer, from Latin imaginari, from imago; IMAGE

imagine

verb
     
i‧ma‧gine S2 W2 [transitive]
1 to form a picture or idea in your mind about what something could be like
imagine (that)
Imagine that you have just won a million pounds.
Imagine life without hot water.
imagine what/how/why etc
Can you imagine what it's like when it's really hot out here in Delhi?
imagine somebody doing something
She could imagine dark-robed figures moving silently along the stone corridors.
(just) imagine doing something
Imagine doing a horrible job like that!
Just imagine going all that way for nothing!
imagine somebody/something as something
He didn't quite dare to imagine himself as a real artist.
imagine somebody in/with/without etc something
Somehow I can't imagine him without a beard.
it is difficult/easy/possible/impossible etc to imagine something
After such a dry summer, it's difficult to imagine what rain looks like.
2 to have a false or wrong idea about something:
Perhaps she'd never really been there at all - perhaps she'd just imagined it.
imagined dangers
imagine (that)
She had imagined that the doctor would be male.
I was surprised when I saw the farm. I had imagined it would be much bigger.
3 [not in progressive] to think that something is true or may happen, but without being sure or having proof:
'A very complicated subject, I imagine,' said Edwin.
imagine (that)
You are obviously tired and I imagine that nothing would make you admit it.
4

you can/can't imagine something

British English spoken used to emphasize how good, bad etc something is
You can/can't imagine how/what/why etc
You can imagine how angry I was!
You can't imagine what a terrible week we had.

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