imitation

noun
im·​i·​ta·​tion | \ ˌi-mə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce imitation (audio) \

Definition of imitation

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of imitating
2 : something produced as a copy : counterfeit
3 : a literary work designed to reproduce the style of another author
4 : the repetition by one voice of a melody, phrase, or motive stated earlier in the composition by a different voice
5 : the quality of an object in possessing some of the nature or attributes of a transcendent idea
6 : the assumption of behavior observed in other individuals

imitation

adjective

Definition of imitation (Entry 2 of 2)

: resembling something else that is usually genuine and of better quality : not real imitation leather

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of imitation in a Sentence

Noun Children learn by imitation of adults. The restaurant was designed in imitation of a Japanese temple. He did a hilarious imitation of his father. The real diamonds are in a museum. These are just imitations. Adjective the stage production uses only imitation diamonds, as real gems would be prohibitively expensive
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Of course, the season’s largest conflict thus far, Champagne-gate, got a nod from Aidy Bryant, who chugged (and spilled) some champagne in imitation of Kelsey. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "SNL Figured Out Why The Bachelor Just Isn’t Working This Season," 2 Feb. 2020 Yet while so clearly referencing Lee, The 40-Year-Old-Version still asserts itself in a way that feels wholly original and lands like a cinematic response more than an imitation. Beandrea July, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The 40-Year-Old Version': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 27 Jan. 2020 And what a pleasant development for Warriors fans: On his best nights, Russell can pull off a pretty fair Curry imitation. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "As Warriors’ Stephen Curry gets well, D’Angelo Russell steals the show," 9 Nov. 2019 The rough controls and camera make these sections feel like a pale imitation of a better third-person shooter. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Death Stranding is Kojima unleashed, and it’s as weird as you’d expect," 1 Nov. 2019 What libertarianism might mean going forward will depend a lot on how the president’s declared opponents, like Amash, distinguish it from Trumpism—especially when Trumpism occasionally stumbles into a shallow imitation of a libertarian position. Lucy Steigerwald, The New Republic, "Justin Amash and the Libertarian Future," 29 July 2019 These are not criminals, but cultural and political enemies for the American Left, whose spiritual home is in Brooklyn and Silicon Valley, and in imitations of those from Austin to Portland. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "The Lawfare Campaign against Gunmakers," 12 Sep. 2019 Yes, imitation should be easier than innovation (and returns to investment should be high where capital is scarce). The Economist, "Emerging economies are experiencing a prolonged productivity slowdown," 18 Jan. 2020 Famously, , rolling out imitations of Kardashian-approved looks just a day or two after said Kardashian debuts a new dress on Instagram. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "What Is Fast Fashion, and Why Is Everyone Talking About It?," 17 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imitation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of imitation

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1818, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for imitation

Noun

Middle English ymytacyoun "emulation," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French imitacion, borrowed from Latin imitātiōn-, imitātiō "action of copying, copy," from imitārī "to follow as a pattern, imitate" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

Adjective

from attributive use of imitation entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about imitation

Time Traveler for imitation

Time Traveler

The first known use of imitation was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for imitation

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Imitation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imitation. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for imitation

imitation

noun
How to pronounce imitation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of imitation

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the act of copying or imitating someone or something
: something that is made or produced as a copy

imitation

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of imitation (Entry 2 of 2)

: made to look like something that is valuable : not genuine

imitation

noun
im·​i·​ta·​tion | \ ˌi-mə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce imitation (audio) \

Kids Definition of imitation

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of copying someone or something She does great imitations of celebrities.
2 : copy entry 1 sense 1 These diamonds are just imitations.

imitation

adjective

Kids Definition of imitation (Entry 2 of 2)

: made to look like something else and especially something valuable imitation pearls

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on imitation

What made you want to look up imitation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!