emulate

verb
em·​u·​late | \ ˈem-yə-ˌlāt, -yü-\
emulated; emulating

Definition of emulate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to strive to equal or excel
b : imitate especially : to imitate by means of an emulator
2 : to equal or approach equality with

emulate

adjective
em·​u·​late | \ ˈem-yə-lət \

Definition of emulate (Entry 2 of 2)

obsolete
: emulous sense 1b pricked on by a most emulate pride— William Shakespeare

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Did You Know?

Verb

If imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, to paraphrase Charles C. Colton (circa 1780-1832), then past speakers of English clearly had a great admiration for the Latin language. The verb emulate joined the ranks of Latin-derived English terms in 1582. It comes from aemulus, a Latin term for rivaling or envious. Two related adjectives - emulate and emulous - appeared around the same time as the verb emulate. Both mean striving to emulate or sometimes jealous, but emulous is rare these days, and the adjective emulate is obsolete. The latter did have a brief moment of glory, however, when Shakespeare used it in Hamlet:

"Our last king,
Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
Dar'd to the combat. . . ."

Examples of emulate in a Sentence

Verb

If you are talking to someone younger, do not condescend. If you are talking to someone older, back up feelings with facts and never be in such a rush to make your point that you forget the art of listening. And please, no one try to emulate the histrionic, discursive style of any talking heads you see on television. — William Norwich, Vogue, 9 Sept. 2008 Although some schools are postponing new projects because of the faltering economy, others are forging ahead with plans to emulate freshman programs that have long existed at some of the nation's oldest colleges. — Jeninne Lee-St. John, Time, 27 Oct. 2008 I started out emulating Chandler in that first book, maybe the first book and a half, because I was in my novitiate, and whenever I wasn't clear on what to do I would actively think about Chandler and what Marlow would have done. — Robert B. Parker et al., Colloquium on Crime, 1986 She grew up emulating her sports heroes. artists emulating the style of their teachers
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While in cases like these, influencers often tell fans to not copy them, impressive footage of people doing seemingly cool stuff isn’t doing much to dissuade people from assuming these stunts are safe, and emulating them. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Feds ask people to stop climbing out of cars and dancing to Drake," 27 July 2018 Unfortunately for Ghana, neither Adiyiah nor John Mensah could emulate him - Muslera saved both their penalties, thus rendering Maxi Pereira's miss irrelevant. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 6 Days to Go - Ghana Denied Semi Final Place by Cynical & Clinical Uruguay," 8 June 2018 Named for the late artist and educator Bruce Groff, the Groff Exhibit strives to emulate the process and perspectives that shape the structure of the professional art world in San Diego County. Ramona Sentinel, "RHS student artist's abstract selected for regional exhibit," 15 May 2018 As with all shows about antiheroes — such as Breaking Bad or The Sopranos — there’s a contingent of House of Cards fans who see Frank Underwood as a hero, someone to valorize and emulate. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Kevin Spacey released a bizarre video evoking Frank Underwood, apparently to defend himself," 24 Dec. 2018 Best Likeness is for chairs that emulate an existing chair design. Lindsey Ramsey, House Beautiful, "Look At These Adorable Chairs Made Out Of Champagne Corks," 22 Dec. 2018 But Mary's choice to emulate Jackie's iconic pink suit is an interesting one, particularly given the outfit's dark historical significance. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Crown Princess Mary of Denmark Just Channeled Jackie Kennedy in a Pink Pillbox Hat," 7 Dec. 2018 OnePlus adds a new night mode with its latest camera software, which aims to emulate the company’s bigger rivals, but fails to impress. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "OnePlus 6T review: revised formula, same results," 29 Oct. 2018 In a colonized society that terrorized you for looking like yourself, emulating your oppressors made practical sense. Tia Williams, Glamour, "Dear Black Moms, It's on Us to Dismantle What 'Good Hair' Means for Our Daughters," 24 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emulate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of emulate

Verb

1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1602, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for emulate

Verb

borrowed from Latin aemulātus, past participle of aemulārī "to vie with, rival, imitate," derivative of aemulus "rivaling, emulous"

Adjective

borrowed from Latin aemulātus — more at emulate entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near emulate

emu

emu apple

emu bush

emulate

emulation

emulator

emulatory

Statistics for emulate

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for emulate

The first known use of emulate was in 1582

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More Definitions for emulate

emulate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of emulate

: to try to be like (someone or something you admire)

emulate

verb
em·​u·​late | \ ˈem-yə-ˌlāt \
emulated; emulating

Kids Definition of emulate

: to try hard to be like or do better than : imitate She grew up emulating her sports heroes.

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More from Merriam-Webster on emulate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with emulate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for emulate

Spanish Central: Translation of emulate

Nglish: Translation of emulate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of emulate for Arabic Speakers

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