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

The schtick was that while portraying Gibb, Fallon imitated Gibb's trademark falsetto singing voice but in conversational, non-song dialogue. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Jason Isbell records with disco icon Barry Gibb," 15 Aug. 2019 Bostwick, who designed the Clinic’s garage and office building at East 93rd Street and Euclid Avenue, did a more convincing job of designing a building that harmonizes with his former boss’s work, but without imitating it. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Remembering architect Cesar Pelli’s big contributions to Cleveland: An appreciation - Steven Litt," 28 July 2019 Then, in the age of the printing press and mass literacy, writing acquired a kind of primacy, seen as prestigious, a standard to be learned and imitated (often even in speech). The Economist, "The internet is changing language less than curmudgeons fear," 18 July 2019 By the end of last season, most teams with a hope of contention were either imitating Golden State’s systems, tailoring their rosters in direct response, or both. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "A New Era for the Warriors Means a New Era for the NBA," 18 July 2019 Directed by Hopper in a style often imitated, rarely matched. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "Things to do in Baltimore this week: Artscape, a Pow Wow, Godsmack and more," 14 July 2019 He and Grigor Dimitrov both imitated Sharapova during their warm-up match, and the crowd ate it up, especially when Djokovic took over. 2. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "With ticket to Wimbledon final punched, relive funniest moments from Novak Djokovic's career," 12 July 2019 Featuring mechanically solid shooting and traversal mechanics and interesting team composition opportunities, Apex Legends got a lot of things right that other BRs hadn’t (some of which have since been imitated in Fortnite). Nick Romano, EW.com, "10 best videogames of 2019 (so far)," 27 June 2019 Mulch imitates the accumulation of leaves and other debris that fall to the ground in nature. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "Don’t pile it on when mulching around a tree," 25 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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Learn More about imitate

Statistics for imitate

Last Updated

19 Aug 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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