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Imagery is descriptive language that deals with any of the five senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste) and is intended to make the reader feel more interested in the work by creating a mental image of the subject.

Guided imagery involves a facilitator who provides suggestions by involving all five senses as part of descriptive language.


Imagery is any series of words used to create a mental picture, or sensory experience. Such images can be created by using figures of speech such as similes, metaphors, personification, and assonance. Images can also be created by relatable action words or onomatopoeias that trigger pictures in the reader’s mind. Imagery helps the reader imagine the sensations described as they are related through the language of the author.

A simplistic view is that one can think of the imagery as painting a picture with words.

Other Uses

Imagery is also the term used to refer to the making (or re-creation) of any experience in the mind — auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, kinesthetic, organic. It is a cognitive process employed by most, if not all, humans. When thinking about a previous or upcoming event, people commonly use imagery. For example, one may ask, "What color are your living room walls?" The answer to this question is commonly retrieved by using imagery (i.e., by a person mentally "seeing" one's living room walls).

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