A freelancer who is a native speaker wrote the sentence. I don't understand the use of 'reimagined'. The open walkway is already a reality. Is it correct to use 'reimagine' to describe something that has already happened?

Upon entering the library, the central area, which was once occupied by tables and chairs, has now been reimagined as an open walkway.

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    In this context, it means "redesign" or imagine a new interior layout .
    – Graffito
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 9:18
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    It looks fairly silly to me. Someone trying to impress with fancy vocabulary. But interior designers to sometimes talk like this.
    – James K
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 9:35
  • @JamesK Agreed, and worst it may mean "redesigned", many would deduce that something imagined didn't actually exist or take place whilst, in reality, it obviously has. Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 10:02
  • @JamesK - Some people seem to think (I have seen pieces in e.g. the Atlantic) that Western culture is maybe running out of new ideas and every god-damned thing has to be reimagined, reinterpreted, done over, warmed over, regurgitated, recycled, etc (use of approving or pejorative terms depending on how you feel about that, or whether the action is expected to pay your wages). Richard III reimagined as a rap musical. Wagner on roller skates. A deconstructed cheeseburger for £50. Etc. Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 11:34
  • @JamesK - It's in Cambridge, so I don't think it's totally silly, but possibly a bit grand for a library layout. Perhaps a 'freelancer' imagines that fancy words justify their fee. A 2006 draft entry to the OED gives an example from 1868 The psyche being the more sensational agent, it will, no doubt, be proved that this ‘principle of being’ was the precursor and originator of this organised matter:—as Aristotle speculated and Stahl reimagined. Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 12:00

2 Answers 2


While the word "reimagine" literally means to imagine something differently, it's mostly used to describe a change that is already done.

Merriam-Webster has this to say:

: to imagine again or anew
especially : to form a new conception of : re-create

In your context, "reimagined" means re-created. The area used to have tables and chairs, but someone had the idea to remove those and make it an open walkway, and now that's what it is.


The library staff have decided to change the use of the central area, and have now completed that action. This is a normal usage.



to have a new idea about the way something should be

Reimagine (Cambridge Dictionary)

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