mid-14c., "to form a mental image of," from Old French imaginer "sculpt, carve, paint; decorate, embellish" (13c.), from Latin imaginari "to form a mental picture, picture to oneself, imagine" (also, in Late Latin imaginare "to form an image of, represent"), from imago "an image, a likeness," from stem of imitari "to copy, imitate" (from PIE root *aim- "to copy"). Sense of "suppose, assume" is first recorded late 14c. Related: Imagined; imagining.
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