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

School is supposed to show them what to imitate about adults and about each other. Titus Techera, National Review, "A Teacher Confronts Reality," 26 June 2019 This concordance between the visual and the electrical in graphene almost seems to be an example of life imitating art right down to the quantum level. Quanta Magazine, "When Magic Is Seen in Twisted Graphene, That’s a Moiré," 20 June 2019 You may be tempted to imitate people who seem to have carefree lives, but their inner reality might not match their surface appearance. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for June 7, 2019: Scorpio, watch for strings; Pisces, avoid this time-waster," 7 June 2019 Biden said on Tuesday night, imitating the Southern drawl of the Mississippi senator. Author: Matt Viser, Sean Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News, "Biden faces backlash over comments about ‘civility’ of his past work with racist senators," 20 June 2019 Art imitated life, and during this time nautical fiction was a predominant literary genre. Eric Desatnik, Quartz, "We should care more about the deep sea than we do deep space," 20 June 2019 California could steal Texas’s expansive approach to housebuilding; Texas could imitate California’s investment in outstanding universities. The Economist, "Texafornia dreaming," 20 June 2019 In December 2018, Desmond, imitating Gwen Stefani, performed at a Brooklyn gay bar in a wig and crop-top as hooting adult men threw dollar bills. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "‘Desmond Is Amazing’ Needs Saving," 11 June 2019 In all those records from the ‘60s, all the groups were singing (imitating a falsetto) way up there! Randy Cordova, azcentral, "How singer Steve Tyrell brings blue-eyed soul to the standards," 11 June 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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Statistics for imitate

Last Updated

8 Jul 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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