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January 04, 2014

Word of the Day

  • mimesis
  • audio pronunciation
  • \muh-MEE-sis\
  • DEFINITION

noun

: imitation, mimicry
  • EXAMPLES

Later on in her life, the painter became less interested in mimesis and began to experiment in styles of abstraction.

"It is four million years ago. The great apes emerged. Their brains were large enough to give them cognitive capacities that exceeded other species of animals. They could teach their young through mimesis and episodic memory." — From an article by Don Heath in The Edmond Sun (Oklahoma), October 28, 2013

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"Mimesis" is a term with an undeniably classical pedigree. Originally a Greek word, it has been used in aesthetic or artistic theory to refer to the attempt to imitate or reproduce reality since Plato and Aristotle. "Mimesis" is derived from the Greek verb "mimeisthai," which means "to imitate" and which itself comes from "mimos," meaning "mime." The English word "mime" also descends from "mimos," as do "mimic" and "mimicry." And what about "mimeograph," the name of the duplicating machine that preceded the photocopier? We can't be absolutely certain what the folks at the A. B. Dick Company had in mind when they came up with "Mimeograph" (a trademark name that has since expired), but influence from "mimos" and its descendants certainly seems probable.

Test Your Vocabulary: What is the meaning of "ersatz"? The answer is …

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