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1. Psychol a perception that is not true to reality, having been altered subjectively in some way in the mind of the perceiver
2. a very fine gauze or tulle used for trimmings, veils, etc.
A false interpretation of a real sensation; a perception that misinterprets the object perceived.
See also Appearances, Deceiving.Barmecide feast
Emperor’s New Clothes
imaginary feast served t0 beggar by prince. [Arab. Lit.: Arabian Nights, “The Barmecide’s Feast”]
supposedly invisible to unworthy people; in reality, nonexistent. [Dan. Lit.: Andersen’s Fairy Tales]
George and Martha
esp. in the Straits of Messina: named for Morgan le Fay. [Ital. Folklore: Espy, 14]
Glass Menagerie, The
as an imaginary compensation for their childlessness, pretend they have a son, who would now be twenty-one. [Am. Drama: Edward Albee Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in On Stage, 447]
drama of St. Louis family escaping reality through illusion (1945). [Am. Lit.: The Glass Menagerie, Magill III, 418–420]
Mrs. Forrester’s affairs destroyed his image of her. [Am. Lit.: A Lost Lady]
English Don Quixote; opponent of repressive laws. [Br. Lit.: Hudibras, Espy, 204]
saw philanderer Brad Criley as true lover. [Am. Lit.: Cass Timberlane]
something illusory, such as an imaginary tree and pond in the midst of a desert. [Pop. Usage: Misc.]
imagines self in brilliant and heroic roles. [Am. Lit.: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” in Cartwell, 606–610]
attacks windmills thinking them giants. [Span. Lit.: Don Quixote]
imaginative dog. [Comics: “Peanuts” in Horn, 542–543]
place appearing in Coleridge’s dream; where Kubla Khan “did/A stately pleasure-dome decree.” [Br. Lit.: “Kubla Khan” in Payton, 744]