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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Video footage from the scene showed that the assailants wore what appeared to be imitations of U.S. military uniforms. Washington Post, "Afghan forces repel Islamic State attack at Kabul ministry," 30 May 2018 That, combined with Aneska’s knack for imitation, gives fans some trust issues. Maria Tallarico, Glamour, "9 Jane the Virgin Fan Theories That Will Keep You Up at Night," 11 Jan. 2019 In contrast to what gamblers are placing their bets on, many critics think Rami's spot-on imitation of Freddie Mercury will, in fact, lead to him winning the category. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "See if Your 2019 Golden Globe Predictions Match Up With the Projected Winners," 5 Jan. 2019 The white man worked at their destruction because of hunger for Indian land and an idealistic concept that Indians should be transformed into imitation white men. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "The True Story Behind Woman Walks Ahead," 29 June 2018 Records show Metcalf was investigated in 2008 while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for making in imitation IED, authorities said. Fox News, "Records: More than 40 pipe bombs found in Arizona man's home," 31 Aug. 2018 The simple, noble jellyfish has inspired plenty of engineering imitations. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "For Simpler Flying Robots, Make Them Fly Like Jellyfish?," 25 Nov. 2013 But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Judicial Watch has many great admirers. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "The Trump ‘Ethics’ Resistance," 27 Dec. 2018 Like the old adage that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Maurizio Cattelan On The Artist Is Present, His Mind-Bending New Exhibit With Alessandro Michele in Shanghai," 22 Oct. 2018

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.

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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

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Learn More about imitation

Statistics for imitation

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for imitation

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

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More Definitions for imitation

imitation

noun

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

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Comments on imitation

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