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 His successors styled their locks and shaved their beards in imitation of this ageless Alexander. James Romm, WSJ, "‘Philip and Alexander’ Review: A Conqueror’s Patrimony," 9 Oct. 2020 One of the central challenges of cultural evolution is how to balance imitation and innovation. Alison Gopnik, WSJ, "Innovation Relies on Imitation," 1 Oct. 2020 In fact, purple dyes were so desirable that astute businessmen created a multitude of inferior-quality imitation hues to meet the considerable demand. Mark Woolmer, National Geographic, "Purple Reign: A passion for purple built the Phoenicians' vast trading empire," 24 Sep. 2020 The ability has only been seen in a handful of creatures, and the find could suggest that imitation arose relatively early in mammal evolution. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, "Kitty see, kitty do: Cat imitates human, in first scientific demonstration of behavior," 25 Sep. 2020 The $154,350 Porsche Panamera Turbo does a passable imitation of the $207,825 Bentley Continental GT. Eric Tingwall, Car and Driver, "2020 Audi SQ8 Drives like a Discount Lamborghini Urus," 3 Sep. 2020 That said, teachers learned from professors and those professors can explain education concepts to parents like me, helping to make our poor imitation less poor. Gail Cornwall, Good Housekeeping, "Evidence-Backed Ways Parents Can Think Like a Teacher to Improve Virtual Learning," 25 Aug. 2020 He was arrested on suspicion of burglary, resisting arrest and the alteration of an imitation firearm; the outcome of that criminal case was not immediately clear Friday. Allen Matthews, SFChronicle.com, "Two months after a Cal student’s killing, an arrest is made. But questions remain," 21 Aug. 2020 Slowed + reverb is a poor imitation of what chopped and screwed music is. Shelby Stewart, Houston Chronicle, "'Slowed + Reverb' is just chopped & screwed gentrified," 13 Aug. 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

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Imitation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imitation. Accessed 26 Oct. 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

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
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!