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 imitate (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, unoriginal, 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 In varying proportions, hydrogen-ammonia-nitrogen mixes can imitate the properties of different fossil fuels. Nils Rokke, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Instead of trying to stay out of sight, as most wildlife researchers do, Smuts watched the baboons’ communications with one another carefully, without hiding her presence, and over time began to imitate their sounds and gestures. Michelle Nijhuis, The New York Review of Books, 20 Aug. 2020 Ultimately, the best way to fight China may be to imitate it. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, 24 June 2021 For me, the game plan was simple: fish during low-light periods of dawn to mid-morning on cloudy, cool days and imitate what the fish are feeding on. Jim Gronaw, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 10 Aug. 2021 The new analysis adds musk ducks to a small number of animals able to imitate human speech. Ben Panko, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Sep. 2021 This function is what the authors of the new work taught an artificial deep neural network to imitate in order to determine its complexity. Quanta Magazine, 2 Sep. 2021 Amaka often struggled to interpret FAKA’s distinctive speeches—let alone imitate them. Wired, 1 Sep. 2021 Both Reagan and Thatcher achieved a level of popularity among the public so great that their rivals were compelled to imitate them. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 16 June 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near imitate

imitant

imitate

imitatee

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Statistics for imitate

Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Imitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imitate. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on imitate

Nglish: Translation of imitate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of imitate for Arabic Speakers

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