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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

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

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

a figment of somebody’s imagiˈnation

something which somebody only imagines: Doctor, are you suggesting the pain is a figment of my imagination?
See also: figment, imagination, of
References in periodicals archive ?
In Figment for Man, Christopher artfully contrasts and juxtaposes scents to explore the nuances of these illusions.
Both were well seen off by Figment at Gosforth Park, and she looks to have an easier task than her stablemate in the first division.
FIGMENT is a free participatory arts event held in multiple cities and attracting tens of thousands of participants each year.
The editorial further stated: "This open conspiracy involving the courts, the Justice Department, and the gay lobby is no figment of conservative paranoia: It is demonstrated for all to see in a confidential briefing note prepared for Anne McLellan, the Justice Minister.
HERE WE ARE, little more than a decade after the end of the Cold War, and it all seems like a distant, irrelevant dream, like the season of Dallos that turned out to be a figment of Bobby Ewing's imagination.
The flag appears in various forms seemingly to remind us that America's black people remain the conscience of the nation, consistently forcing it to look at itself in the mirror, providing a reality check to see if the image projected to the world is credible, or just the figment of a patriotic imagination.
McMahon's work answers Roger Chartier's question about whether the existence of the Enlightenment was merely a figment of the revolutionaries' imagination.
He knows about the times you've been driving alone through nowhere USA, rawk punk blaring, transmission shipping, pretending it's all "a figment of your imagination.
Jenkins, he commits a variety of dastardly acts--involving rape, murder, and gambling--only to be revealed as a figment of Sister Martha Jane's imagination in a bad dream.
It unites in a single stage picture our sense of the moon as both a fact of astronomy and a figment of our imaginations.
Until governmental rules define matters otherwise, greenhouse gas emissions are a figment of parties' contracts," says Mark Perlis, a Washington, D.
IF THE AL DUNLAP OF Chainsaw were a fictional character, he would be dismissed as a figment of bad writing, a one-dimensional caricature: He capitalizes on his notoriety for mass layoffs by writing a book called Mean Business.
Their special blip was no figment of their imagination.
The only other recent writer of nonfiction to get this much attention from the Times was Katie Roiphe for The Morning After which, as you may recall, asserted that date rape is a figment of feminists' imaginations.