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

ape, copy, copycat, emulate, mime, mimic

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Choose the Right Synonym for imitate

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

Writing meaningful text is a complex human task, but artificial intelligence is learning how to imitate it more convincingly. Cynthia Hua, WSJ, "Leadership Advice, Courtesy of Artificial Intelligence," 1 Apr. 2019 It's been imitated, proliferated, and reimagined by many other brands. Glamour, "Talita von Furstenberg, Diane’s Granddaughter, Is Ushering in a New Era of Dresses," 24 Apr. 2019 Little girls in party dresses scurried behind, imitating her moves. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Foreign Belly Dancers? Egyptians Shake Their Heads (and Hips)," 8 July 2018 It was imitated by the likes of Switzerland’s Omega, which bought modules from Pulsar for its own Pulsar-like LEDs. Bloomberg.com, "Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Meets With President Trump," 27 Feb. 2018 And life imitated art during the making of the film. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "The Stunning Capernaum Tells a Gripping Tale of Refugees in Lebanon," 13 Dec. 2018 Trump said, imitating Dr. Ford’s statement that she wasn’t intoxicated when the alleged 1982 incident occurred. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Trump: Mockery of Christine Blasey Ford “Doesn’t Matter. We Won.”," 14 Oct. 2018 Preliminary research outlined in the Journal of Arachnology suggests that the leaf-imitating spider is a new biological species, but more study is needed to confirm this. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Newly Discovered Spider Looks Suspiciously Like a Leaf," 16 Nov. 2016 The Tenth Street scene of the late 1950s and early ’60s is often remembered as a faint echo of the Abstract Expressionist boom immediately following World War II, too obsessed with imitating Pollock and Kline to surpass them. Jackson Arn, WSJ, "‘Goodbye to Tenth Street’ Review: A Final Sweeping," 15 Feb. 2019

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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Learn More about imitate

Statistics for imitate

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for imitate

The first known use of imitate was in 1534

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More Definitions for imitate

imitate

verb

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with imitate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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