imagination

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beyond imagination

Inconceivable; outside of the realm of imagination, expectation, or anticipation. I find it simply beyond imagination the greed of all these big corporations. That film was amazing, it was actually beyond imagination.
See also: beyond, imagination

leave nothing to the imagination

1. Of clothing, to hide or cover very little (of the body) or be very revealing. I was quite embarrassed when John showed up for our date wearing ill-fitting jeans that left nothing to the imagination.
2. To present (something) in a very stark or obvious manner. The film is relentlessly blunt with its anti-religious message, leaving nothing to the imagination from beginning to end.

leave little to the imagination

1. Of clothing, to hide or cover very little (of the body) or be very revealing. I was quite embarrassed when John showed up for our date wearing ill-fitting jeans that left little to the imagination.
2. To present (something) in a very stark or obvious manner. The film is relentlessly blunt with its anti-religious message, leaving little to the imagination from beginning to end.

by no stretch of the imagination

Unable to happen within, at, or beyond the limits of the imagination; in no possible situation or from no conceivable perspective. By no stretch of the imagination do I think our team has a chance of winning tonight. Tommy does all right in school, but by no stretch of the imagination would I call him a genius.
See also: imagination, of, stretch

figment of (one's)/the imagination

An experience that initially is thought to be real but is actually imagined. I thought I heard the sound of my front door opening last night but it turned out to be a figment of my imagination.
See also: figment, imagination, of

flight of imagination

An imaginative but unrealistic idea. No one took his campaign for office seriously because his proposed solutions to problems were filled with flights of imagination.
See also: flight, imagination, of

be a figment of (one's/the) imagination

To be an imagined experience (especially after one has initially thought it to be real). I thought I heard the sound of my front door opening last night but it turned out to be a figment of my imagination.
See also: figment, imagination, of

by any stretch of the imagination

as much as anyone could imagine; as much as is imaginable. (Often negative.) I don't see how anyone by any stretch of the imagination could fail to understand what my last sentence meant.
See also: any, imagination, of, stretch

capture someone's imagination

Fig. to intrigue someone; to interest someone in a lasting way; to stimulate someone's imagination. The story of the young wizard has captured the imagination of the world's children.
See also: capture, imagination

a figment of your imagination

also a figment of the imagination
something created by your mind I thought I saw someone standing in the shadows, but it was just a figment of my imagination.
See also: figment, imagination, of

not by any stretch (of the imagination)

also by no stretch (of the imagination)
even if you try, it is still difficult to accept She was never a great player, not by any stretch of the imagination. He's nice-looking but by no stretch of the imagination could you describe him as handsome. Our survey was purely random and by no stretch scientific.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form by any stretch (of the imagination) (even possibly): It's the only plan that could, by any stretch, be relied upon to work.
See also: any, not, stretch

be a figment of your/the imagination

if something is a figment of your imagination, it seems real although it is not I thought I saw someone standing in the shadows, but it was just a figment of my imagination.
See also: figment, imagination, of

a flight of fancy/fantasy/imagination

an idea which shows a lot of imagination but which is not practical or useful in real situations You were talking about cycling across the US, or was that just another flight of fancy?
See also: fancy, flight, of

not by any stretch of the imagination

  also by no stretch of the imagination
if you say that by no stretch of the imagination can you describe something or someone in a particular way, you mean that this way of describing them is certainly not correct She was never a great player, not by any stretch of the imagination. He's pleasant looking but by no stretch of the imagination could you describe him as handsome.
See bend the rules
See also: any, imagination, of, stretch

figment of one's imagination

Something made up, invented, or fabricated, as in "The long dishevelled hair, the swelled black face, the exaggerated stature were figments of imagination" (Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, 1847). This term is redundant, since figment means "product of the imagination." [Early 1800s]
See also: figment, imagination, of
References in classic literature ?
Of course, it is the contention of all us realists that all etherealists are but figments of the imagination.
It's the first thing I ever saw that couldn't be improved upon by imagination.
A curious proof of the subtlety of these Paul Ferroll books in the appeal they made to the imagination is the fact that I came to them fresh from 'Romolo,' and full of horror for myself in Tito; yet I sympathized throughout with Paul Ferroll, and was glad when he got away.
Moreover, while a writer who deals with [48] easy themes has no excuse if he is not pellucid to a glance, one who employs his intellect and imagination on high and hard questions has a right to demand a corresponding closeness of attention, and a right to say with Bishop Butler, in answer to a similar complaint: 'It must be acknowledged that some of the following discourses are very abstruse and difficult, or, if you please, obscure; but I must take leave to add that those alone are judges whether or no, and how far this is a fault, who are judges whether or no, and how far it might have been avoided--those only who will be at the trouble to understand what is here said, and to see how far the things here insisted upon, and not other things, might have been put in a plainer manner.
The episode meant more to him than being bested in play by the best swordsman in England--for that surely was no disgrace--to Henry it seemed prophetic of the outcome of a future struggle when he should stand face to face with the real De Montfort; and then, seeing in De Vac only the creature of his imagination with which he had vested the likeness of his powerful brother-in-law, Henry did what he should like to have done to the real Leicester.
In imagination Anne saw herself reading a story out of a magazine to Marilla, entrapping her into praise of it -- for in imagination all things are possible -- and then triumphantly announcing herself the author.
Sensation invested itself in form and color and radiance, and what his imagination dared, it objectified in some sublimated and magic way.
Charley cudgelled his brains continually, but for once his imagination failed him.
Lured by the flowers and the shade and charmed by the songs of birds which invited to woodland paths and green fields, his imagination fired by glimpses of golden domes and glittering palaces in the distance on either hand, the Young Politician said:
mount to such altitudes of imagination as he may be fitted to attain;
One of our first amusements as children (if we have any imagination at all) is to get out of our own characters, and to try the characters of other personages as a change--to fairies, to be queens, to be anything, in short, but what we really are.
All these baffling head-reaches after immortality are but the panics of souls frightened by the fear of death, and cursed with the thrice-cursed gift of imagination.
INTELLECT, EMOTION, IMAGINATION, AND RELATED QUALITIES.
As his temper therefore was naturally sanguine, he indulged it on this occasion, and his imagination worked up a thousand conceits, to favour and support his expectations of meeting his dear Sophia in the evening.
Zarathustra's habit of designating a whole class of men or a whole school of thought by a single fitting nickname may perhaps lead to a little confusion at first; but, as a rule, when the general drift of his arguments is grasped, it requires but a slight effort of the imagination to discover whom he is referring to.