imitate

verb
im·​i·​tate | \ ˈi-mə-ˌtāt How to pronounce imitate (audio) \
imitated; imitating

Definition of imitate

transitive verb

1 : to follow as a pattern, model, or example
2 : mimic, counterfeit can imitate his father's booming voice
3 : to be or appear like : resemble
4 : to produce a copy of : reproduce

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Other Words from imitate

imitator \ ˈi-​mə-​ˌtā-​tər How to pronounce imitator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for imitate

Synonyms

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copy, imitate, mimic, ape, mock mean to make something so that it resembles an existing thing. copy suggests duplicating an original as nearly as possible. copied the painting and sold the fake as an original imitate suggests following a model or a pattern but may allow for some variation. imitate a poet's style mimic implies a close copying (as of voice or mannerism) often for fun, ridicule, or lifelike imitation. pupils mimicking their teacher ape may suggest presumptuous, slavish, or inept imitating of a superior original. American fashion designers aped their European colleagues mock usually implies imitation with derision. mocking a vain man's pompous manner

Examples of imitate in a Sentence

Her style has been imitated by many other writers. He's very good at imitating his father's voice. She can imitate the calls of many different birds.
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Recent Examples on the Web Ali and Lemon laughed with Wilson, who used fake a southern accent to imitate a Trump supporter. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "'Fake victimhood': CNN panelists dismiss backlash over segment mocking Trump supporters," 28 Jan. 2020 That’s why fly fishing enthusiasts will go to extreme lengths to imitate these graceful, elegant and fragile insects. Boris Kondratieff, The Conversation, "Stoneflies and mayflies, canaries of our streams," 22 Jan. 2020 Half of the slowdown in labour-productivity growth in recent years reflects not a failure to imitate but a failure to accumulate: weak investment has left labour with too little capital to work with. The Economist, "Emerging economies are experiencing a prolonged productivity slowdown," 18 Jan. 2020 Researchers have long sought to imitate photosynthesis, harnessing the energy of the Sun to generate chemical fuels. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Taking a cue from plants, new chemical approach converts carbon dioxide to valuable fuel," 8 Jan. 2020 The witness pinched his fingers and dropped them down to imitate his wife putting cash in her purse. Rachel Nolan, The New Yorker, "A Translation Crisis at the Border," 30 Dec. 2019 AlphaStar started its training by learning to imitate from a set of nearly one million human games. Dan Garisto, Scientific American, "AI Beats Top Human Players at Strategy Game StarCraft II," 31 Oct. 2019 Several Dodgers hopped the dugout rail to imitate third base coach Dino Ebel waving Freese home. Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Dodgers win Game 3," 7 Oct. 2019 Maybe this is the more important question: Will the U.S. Space Force also imitate some of the values of Starfleet? Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Why the U.S. Space Force Should Boldly Embrace Star Trek," 27 Jan. 2020

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

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for imitate

borrowed from Latin imitātus, past participle of imitārī "to follow as a pattern, copy," frequentative derivative of a presumed verb *imā- "make a copy," perhaps going back to Indo-European *h2im-, whence also Hittite hima-, himma- "substitute, replica, toy"

Note: Aside from Hittite, evidence for an etymon *h2im- is lacking. See also etymology and note at emulous.

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Time Traveler for imitate

Time Traveler

The first known use of imitate was in 1534

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Statistics for imitate

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Imitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imitate. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for imitate

imitate

verb
How to pronounce imitate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of imitate

: to make or do something the same way as (something else)
: to do the same thing as (someone)
: to copy (someone's or something's behavior, sound, appearance, etc.)

imitate

verb
im·​i·​tate | \ ˈi-mə-ˌtāt How to pronounce imitate (audio) \
imitated; imitating

Kids Definition of imitate

1 : to follow as a pattern, model, or example He tried to imitate the older boys.
2 : to be or appear like : resemble The vinyl imitates leather.
3 : to copy exactly : mimic She can imitate bird calls.

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More from Merriam-Webster on imitate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for imitate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with imitate

Spanish Central: Translation of imitate

Nglish: Translation of imitate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of imitate for Arabic Speakers

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