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4 definitions found
 for imagination
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Imagination \Im*ag`i*na"tion\, n. [OE. imaginacionum, F.
     imagination, fr. L. imaginatio. See Imagine.]
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Our simple apprehension of corporeal objects, if
              present, is sense; if absent, is imagination.
                                                    --Glanvill.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. A mental image formed by the action of the imagination as
        a faculty; a conception; a notion. --Shak.
  
     Syn: Conception; idea; conceit; fancy; device; origination;
          invention; scheme; design; purpose; contrivance.
  
     Usage: 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,
            Wordsworth 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." --Trench.
            [1913 Webster]
  
                  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.
            [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  imagination
      n 1: the formation of a mental image of something that is not
           perceived as real and is not present to the senses;
           "popular imagination created a world of demons";
           "imagination reveals what the world could be" [syn:
           imagination, imaginativeness, vision]
      2: the ability to form mental images of things or events; "he
         could still hear her in his imagination" [syn: imagination,
         imaging, imagery, mental imagery]
      3: the ability to deal resourcefully with unusual problems; "a
         man of resource" [syn: resource, resourcefulness,
         imagination]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  43 Moby Thesaurus words for "imagination":
     apparition, brainchild, bubble, chimera, creativity, delirium,
     eidolon, fancy, fantasque, fantasy, fiction, figment,
     hallucination, idle fancy, illusion, imagery, imaginativeness,
     imagining, ingenuity, insight, inspiration, insubstantial image,
     intelligence, invention, inventiveness, maggot, make-believe, myth,
     phantasm, phantom, romance, sick fancy, thick-coming fancies,
     thinking, thought, trip, vapor, vision, visualization, whim,
     whimsy, wildest dreams, wit
  
  

From The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906) :

  IMAGINATION, n.  A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint
  ownership.
  

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