Imaginative, imaginal, imaginable, imaginary, though not synonymous, are sometimes confused because of their verbal likeness.
Imaginative applies to something which is the product of the imagination or has a character indicating the exercise or the power of the imagination; thus, imaginative writings are often distinguished from such factual writings as historical, expository, and argumentative; an imaginative poet is one whose imagination heightens his perception of people and things.
Imaginal, meaning of the imagination or within the conceptive powers of the imagination, has been used, especially by psychologists, to fill the need for an adjective which refers to the imagination only as a function of the mind rather than as a creative power or to images as the mental representations which follow a sensation; thus, a person belongs to one imaginal type rather than to another because of his tendency to have sensory images of a particular kind (as visual, tactile, or auditory).
Imaginable often means little more than conceivable, but more precisely it may imply that the thing so qualified can be seen or apprehended in a clear mental image.
Imaginary ((for fuller treatment see IMAGINARY 1 )) implies existence only in the imagination.