emulate

verb
em·​u·​late | \ ˈem-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce emulate (audio) , -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 How to pronounce emulate (audio) \

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 Both mean striving to emulate or sometimes jealous, but emulous is rare these days, and the adjective emulate is obsolete.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

As other gyms add juice bars and workout classes to emulate high-end boutique studios, the company is winning over newcomers with a simple selection of machines, free pizza nights and television commercials that poke fun at gym buffs. Jaewon Kang, WSJ, "No-Frills Gym Chain Bulks Up Thanks to Workout Boom," 19 Mar. 2019 In that way, Markle is emulating her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Reason Meghan Markle Holds Her Gloves But Doesn't Actually Wear Them," 2 Feb. 2019 The campaign, shot by Cepis, shows Brosnahan in bold, playful, and colorful looks, emulating Spade's whimsical and chic personal style, while sporting bags, shoes, and jewelry from the Frances Valentine Spring 2019 collection. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rachel Brosnahan, Kate Spade's Niece, Stars in a New Campaign Honoring the Late Designer," 30 Jan. 2019 This is the second year in a row that Beyoncé has emulated a music legend for Halloween. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé Just Dominated Halloween with a Spot-On Toni Braxton Costume," 30 Oct. 2018 First, the group wanted to emulate the mystery of Chick tracts in the pre-internet era, when the messages seemed to have been dropped from heaven. Brendan Kiley, The Seattle Times, "Seattle-based Patriotic Christians for a Better America spreads anti-Trump gospel with cartoons," 26 Mar. 2019 Getty Images There is a lot to envy about Meghan Markle, and this week, the aspect of the Duchess that people are falling over themselves to emulate are her brows. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Here's Why People Are Copying Meghan Markle's Eyebrows," 27 Jan. 2019 But in theory, most people know that Frank Underwood isn’t someone to emulate or trust. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Kevin Spacey released a bizarre video evoking Frank Underwood, apparently to defend himself," 24 Dec. 2018 More than 100 groups and facilities around the world have emulated this model. Daniel Grushkin, STAT, "Biohackers are about open-access to science, not DIY pandemics. Stop misrepresenting us," 4 June 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

21 May 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 How to pronounce emulate (audio) \
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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