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

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 ?
We send out our deathless archers--deathless because they are lifeless, existing only in the imaginations of our enemies.
He has no existence except in the imaginations of his people.
Then Charley's lagging imagination quickened sufficiently to suggest a ruse.
Well, Charley," Neil Partington said, as we discussed it on the wharf afterward, "I fail to see where your boasted imagination came into play this time.
There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?
It's the first thing I ever saw that couldn't be improved upon by imagination.
From the unorganized material thus brought clearly to the author's consciousness Imagination next selects the details which can be turned to present use, and proceeds to combine them, uniting scattered traits and incidents, perhaps from widely different sources, into new characters, stories, scenes, and ideas.
Notwithstanding, therefore, all the delicacies which love had set before him, namely, the hopes of seeing Sophia at the masquerade; on which, however ill-founded his imagination might be, he had voluptuously feasted during the whole day, the evening no sooner came than Mr Jones began to languish for some food of a grosser kind.
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.
They differ by the fact that the images that constitute memories, unlike those that constitute imagination, are accompanied by a feeling of belief which may be expressed in the words "this happened.
His conception of her was for him a sacred memory, and his future wife was bound to be in his imagination a repetition of that exquisite, holy ideal of a woman that his mother had been.
If, instead of this remark, my father had taken the pains to explain to me that the principles of Agrippa had been entirely exploded and that a modern system of science had been introduced which possessed much greater powers than the ancient, because the powers of the latter were chimerical, while those of the former were real and practical, under such circumstances I should certainty have thrown Agrippa aside and have contented my imagination, warmed as it was, by returning with greater ardour to my former studies.
My readers have opportunities of judging for themselves whether the influences and tendencies which I distrust in America, have any existence not in my imagination.
Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men's minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds, of a number of men, poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves?
My, what imaginations these children have developed