imagination

imagination, fancy, fantasy are comparable when denoting either the power or the function of the mind by which mental images of things are formed or the exercise of that power especially as manifested in poetry or other works of art. The meanings of all of these terms have been greatly influenced by changing psychological and aesthetic theories, with the result that in the past they have often carried implications or connotations and sometimes denotations not observable in modern use.
Imagination is not only the most inclusive of these terms but the freest from derogatory connotations. As an inclusive term it may apply either to the power of forming images of things once known but now absent
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our simple apprehension of corporeal objects, if present, is sense; if absent, is imaginationGlanvill

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or to the power of forming images of things not seen, or actually nonexistent, or incapable of actual existence
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one feels that a livelier melodic imagination would serve the needs of classical opera better— Evett

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In the first instance the term suggests the use of memory as well as of the image-making power
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recall the past in one's imagination

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her face haunted his imagination

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In the second it usually suggests either a new combination of elements found in one's experience or an ability to conceive of something, seen only fragmentarily or superficially, as a complete, perfected, and integral whole
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a man of no imagination is less likely to feel physical fear

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with imagination enough to see the possible consequences

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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.

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it is only through imagination that men become aware of what the world might be— Russell

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facts . . . give us wherewithal to think straight and they stimulate the imagination; for imagination, like reason, cannot run without the gasoline of knowledge— Grandgent

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Fancy (see also FANCY 3) usually means the power to conceive and give expression to images that are far removed from reality or that represent purely imaginary things
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she saw, with the creative eye of fancy, the streets of that gay bathing place covered with officers— Austen

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the world which any consciousness inhabits is a world made up in part of experience and in part of fancyKrutch

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In aesthetic use there is a tendency to make imagination and fancy antithetical. Imagination is often used to designate the power of representing the real or what gives an illusion of reality in its entirety and organic unity and, usually, in its ideal or universal character; fancy, the power of inventing the novel and unreal by recom- bining the elements found in reality. So interpreted, imagination represents men not only in their outward but in their inward life, and produces a Hamlet; fancy presents them in alien surroundings, or essentially changed in their natural physical and mental constitution, and produces centaurs and Brobdingnagians
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the imagination, or shaping or modifying power; the fancy, or the aggregative and associative power— Coleridge

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Martians, the little green men of popular fancy

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Mendelssohn's fancy gives additional soaring power to the poet's— Kolodin

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Fantasy often takes the place of fancy in naming the power of unrestrained and often extravagant or delusive fancy or its exhibition in art
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[readers] . . . live a compensatory life of fantasy between the lines of print— Huxley

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this mechanical man or robot idea has been decidedly overdone in the writings of fantasyFurnas

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Analogous words: invention, creation (see corresponding verbs at INVENT): conceiving or conception, realizing or realization (see corresponding verbs at THINK)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • imagination — [ imaʒinasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • XIIe; lat. imaginatio I ♦ L IMAGINATION. 1 ♦ Faculté que possède l esprit de se représenter des images; connaissances, expérience sensible. Le domaine des idées et celui de l imagination. Cela a frappé son imagination. 2 ♦ …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Imagination! — (formerly The Journey Into Imagination pavilion) is the name of a pavilion that sits on the western side of Future World , one of two themed areas of Epcot, a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida USA. It holds… …   Wikipedia

  • Imagination — (>lat.: imago „Bild“) ist synonym mit Einbildung, Einbildungskraft, Phantasie, bildhaft anschaulichem Vorstellen.[1] Es wird darunter die psychologische Fähigkeit verstanden, sich nicht gegenwärtige Situationen, Vorgänge, Gegenstände und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imagination — Imagination. s. f. v. La faculté de l ame qui imagine. Il a l imagination vive, l imagination forte, l imagination grande, l imagination fertile, l imagination gastée. la force de l imagination. voyez ce que peut l imagination. un effet de l… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • IMAGINATION — IMAGINATION, the power of the soul which retains images derived from sense perception, or which combines such images or their parts into new composite images, which took on a special meaning in philosophy. To Aristotle (De Anima, 3), the term… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Imagination — • The faculty of representing to oneself sensible objects independently of an actual impression of those objects on our senses Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Imagination     Imagination …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • imagination — Imagination, Imaginatio. Imagination rude, qui n est pas du tout façonnée, Informatio. L imagination et fantasie du peuple, Populi sensus. B. ex Cic …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • imagination — IMAGINATION: Toujours vive. S en défier. Quand on n en a pas, la dénigrer chez les autres. Pour écrire des romans, il suffit d avoir de l imagination …   Dictionnaire des idées reçues

  • imagination — (n.) faculty of the mind which forms and manipulates images, mid 14c., ymaginacion, from O.Fr. imaginacion concept, mental picture; hallucination, from L. imaginationem (nom. imaginatio) imagination, a fancy, noun of action from pp. stem of… …   Etymology dictionary

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