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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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 Mass shooters have long aspired to imitate previous high-profile attackers. Ben Sales, sun-sentinel.com, "Two years after synagogue shooting, Pittsburgh has become a hub for white supremacists," 23 Nov. 2020 Kids would imitate the stiff Frankenstein walk, ask if the bolts in his head needed tightening and make off-color jokes. Washington Post, "When your last name is Frankenstein and it’s Halloween," 30 Oct. 2020 Fugazza says only dolphins, parrots, apes, and killer whales have so far been shown to imitate people. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, "Kitty see, kitty do: Cat imitates human, in first scientific demonstration of behavior," 25 Sep. 2020 The experiment’s ingredients, tools and cleaning techniques strove to imitate ancient cooking practices as closely as possible. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Millennia-Old Cookware May Be the Key to Recreating Ancient Cuisine," 23 Sep. 2020 Those treatments imitate kidney function to prolong the life of a person with late-stage kidney disease. Dustin Gardiner, SFChronicle.com, "Proposition 23 would require on-site doctors in kidney dialysis clinics," 7 Oct. 2020 The band was credited with galvanizing a glam-rock boom, with acts seeking to imitate Mr. Van Halen’s quicksilver guitar solos and Roth’s exuberant stage antics, which included a samurai-sword dance and a split-kicking leap from the drum riser. Washington Post, "Eddie Van Halen, guitar virtuoso with a shimmering sound, dies at 65," 6 Oct. 2020 These aren’t the governments the U.S. should want to imitate. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "TikTok Meets the Meddling Feds," 4 Oct. 2020 To imitate DeChambeau, your first act is to gain 50 pounds of muscle over a 10-month period. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "U.S. Open champion DeChambeau blazes a new path, but will anyone follow?," 22 Sep. 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

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Imitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imitate. Accessed 27 Nov. 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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Comments on imitate

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