Definition of imagery noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɪmɪdʒəri//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪmɪdʒəri//
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  1. 1 language that produces pictures in the minds of people reading or listening poetic imagery CollocationsLiteratureBeing a writer write/​publish literature/​poetry/​fiction/​a book/​a story/​a poem/​a novel/​a review/​an autobiography become a writer/​novelist/​playwright find/​have a publisher/​an agent have a new book out edit/​revise/​proofread a book/​text/​manuscript dedicate a book/​poem to…Plot, character and atmosphere construct/​create/​weave/​weave something into a complex narrative advance/​drive the plot introduce/​present the protagonist/​a character describe/​depict/​portray a character (as…)/(somebody as) a hero/​villain create an exciting/​a tense atmosphere build/​heighten the suspense/​tension evoke/​capture the pathos of the situation convey emotion/​an idea/​an impression/​a sense of… engage the reader seize/​capture/​grip the (reader’s) imagination arouse/​elicit emotion/​sympathy (in the reader) lack imagination/​emotion/​structure/​rhythmLanguage, style and imagery use/​employ language/​imagery/​humour/(especially US English) humor/​an image/​a symbol/​a metaphor/​a device use/​adopt/​develop a style/​technique be rich in/​be full of symbolism evoke images of…/a sense of…/a feeling of… create/​achieve an effect maintain/​lighten the tone introduce/​develop an idea/​a theme inspire a novel/​a poet/​somebody’s work/​somebody’s imaginationReading and criticism read an author/​somebody’s work/​fiction/​poetry/​a text/​a poem/​a novel/​a chapter/​a passage review a book/​a novel/​somebody’s work give something/​get/​have/​receive a good/​bad review be hailed (as)/be recognized as a masterpiece quote a(n) phrase/​line/​stanza/​passage/​author provoke/​spark discussion/​criticism study/​interpret/​understand a text/​passage translate somebody’s work/​a text/​a passage/​a novel/​a poem see also metaphor
  2. 2(formal) pictures, photographs, etc. satellite imagery (= for example, photographs of the earth taken from space)
  3. Word OriginMiddle English (in the senses ‘statuary, carved images collectively’): from Old French imagerie, from imager ‘make an image’, from image, from Latin imago.Extra examples He evokes complex imagery with a single well-placed word. Illustration may come between the text and the reader’s own mental imagery. The Pentagon is searching for overhead imagery from satellites or spy planes. The equipment provides intelligence imagery for tactical commanders. The novels draw on popular imagery from newspapers. drawing on popular imagery from newspapers and magazines his continuing quest to explore dream imagery the negative imagery of gays and lesbians on TV the slick imagery of rock stardom the traditional Christian imagery of crucifixion the vivid visual imagery of dreams The poem is full of religious imagery.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: imagery

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