em·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌem-yə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce emulation (audio) , -yü- \

Definition of emulation

1 : ambition or endeavor to equal or excel others (as in achievement)
2a : imitation
b : the use of or technique of using an emulator
3 obsolete : ambitious or envious rivalry

Other Words from emulation

emulative \ ˈem-​yə-​ˌlā-​tiv How to pronounce emulation (audio) \ adjective
emulatively adverb

Examples of emulation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The scene is an imitation of an emulation — an upcoming Hollywood blockbuster recreating an award-winning video game that was already an interactive rendition of Indiana Jones. Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2021 This is best achieved by validating security controls through emulation of real attacks, not simulations, based on intelligence showing which threats are most relevant to your organization. Brian Contos, Forbes, 19 Oct. 2021 The idea that mastery can be achieved by attentive emulation of the masters is the site’s foundational promise. Tad Friend, The New Yorker, 18 Oct. 2021 Perhaps more importantly, the all important 64-bit emulation required to open up the vast catalogue of older Intel-targeting Windows apps is now available to all. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2021 No one profits from a fortune that’s been spent, but a story of long-ago heroism can still provoke admiration and emulation. Adam Kirsch, WSJ, 1 Oct. 2021 Support for the 32-bitx86 applications was available through emulation, but 64-bit x64 applications would not run, presenting little more than an error message. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 22 Sep. 2021 This stands in star contrast to Apple, who have ruthlessly forced developers to stay up to date with the latest version of macOS and iOS by depreciating functions and support, reducing the scope of the Rosetta 2 emulation for macOS’ move to ARM. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 22 Sep. 2021 This is a key distinction in social learning: Imitation is about copying exact physical movement, and emulation is seeing an outcome (for example, a trash-bin opening) and figuring how to get there by oneself. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 22 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emulation.' 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 emulation

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for emulation

borrowed from Latin aemulātiōn-, aemulātiō, from aemulārī "to vie with, rival, imitate" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at emulate entry 1

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Time Traveler for emulation

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The first known use of emulation was in 1542

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Last Updated

8 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Emulation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emulation. Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for emulation


em·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌem-yə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce emulation (audio) \

Kids Definition of emulation

: an attempt to be like or do better than others

More from Merriam-Webster on emulation

Nglish: Translation of emulation for Spanish Speakers


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