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 Both mean striving to emulate or sometimes jealous, but emulous is rare these days, and the adjective emulate is obsolete.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

America’s knack for maintaining an air of robust innocence in the wake of mass death struck Hitler as an example to be emulated. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "How American Racism Influenced Hitler," 23 Apr. 2018 In the four years since it was launched, a Brazilian anticorruption inquiry called Operation Car Wash has ensnared top officials across Latin America and been emulated by Brazil’s neighbors. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Jailing of ex-president Lula seen as potential turning point for Brazil," 21 Apr. 2018 The spots, specks, and dots have commanded attention in royal courts and video games, stirred controversy, and been emulated with both textiles and metals. Jesa Marie Calaor, Allure, "Beauty By Numbers: 11 Fun Facts About the History of Moles," 26 Mar. 2018 Arsenal's undefeated Premier League season in 2003-04 won't be emulated for at least another year. USA TODAY, "Nine minutes of mayhem ends Manchester City's 'Invincibles' bid," 14 Jan. 2018 Kim has tried to emulate his grandfather in appearance and style. Joe Mcdonald, Fox News, "China's Xi joins Russia, Zimbabwe in global autocrat club," 11 Mar. 2018 To make your own desert-dweller happy, try to emulate the rainfall patterns native to its home habitat. Molly Marquand, Good Housekeeping, "5 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Succulents (And How To Grow 'Em Right)," 9 Feb. 2017 Others see it as an appropriately scornful term for a woman who was barely literate, left little for other women to emulate and led the bankrupt Qing dynasty to its downfall in a country whose government remains as male-dominated as ever. New York Times, "Was This Powerful Chinese Empress a Feminist Trailblazer?," 10 July 2018 Demand from the industry’s biggest players has sparked a rush to emulate and feed them houses. Laura Kusisto, WSJ, "House Money: Wall Street Is Raising More Cash Than Ever for Its Rental-Home Gambit," 9 July 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

8 Oct 2018

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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