figment of (one's)/the imagination

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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

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 ?
The condition has confused scientists for years, with some clinicians dismissing it as a figment of the imagination.
THE PSYCHOSEXUAL games at the heart of the fascinating French thriller ``Red Lights'' may or may not be a figment of the imagination of the movie's milquetoast husband, Antoine (Jean-Pierre Darroussin), who drinks double whiskeys the way Britney Spears downs Red Bulls.
Does this man exist - or is he the figment of the imagination of one of your staff reporters?
Feike Fidel, the thematic link, identifies himself as the author's creation, a figment of the imagination, cast in the role of a would-be poet in search of the vision and the words for the poem that will ensure his immortality.
In fact, no one knows whether Teledesic will fly or fail; for now, it remains a figment of the imagination, a virtual product based on the best guesses of rocket scientists, telecommunications engineers, and microchip designers.
The thought of self-remediating non-polluting batteries was once a figment of the imagination and a dream of environmentalists.
Without Remember When, these memories would fade away or, in some cases, might be dismissed as a figment of the imagination, like the story of the Middlesbrough whale.
Once they are closely scrutinised, people realise that they are merely a figment of the imagination.
SOME affairs are little more than a figment of the imagination, a flirtation that belongs - and remains - solely in the mind.
It is all a figment of the imagination of teacher Jonty Haywood, who went to school in the county.
Tory newspapers have leapt on this figment of the imagination because they will stoop to anything to smear Labour.
And it's comforting to know that it's not all a figment of the imagination.