im·​i·​ta·​tive | \ ˈi-mə-ˌtā-tiv How to pronounce imitative (audio) , especially British -tə-tiv \

Definition of imitative

1a : marked by imitation acting is an imitative art
b : reproducing or representing a natural sound : onomatopoeic "hiss" is an imitative word
c : exhibiting mimicry
2 : inclined to imitate
3 : imitating something superior : counterfeit

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Other Words from imitative

imitatively adverb
imitativeness noun

Examples of imitative in a Sentence

The architecture is imitative of a Japanese temple. your writing style tends to be imitative of whichever author you've recently read
Recent Examples on the Web He was known for designing houses for prominent clients that were both elaborate and understated and evocative of older structures without being directly imitative of them. Paul Goldberger, New York Times, "Jaquelin Taylor Robertson, Architect and Passionate Urbanist, Dies at 88," 10 May 2020 The Beastie Boys are a partly imitative act, and that’s what feels both so genius and so white about them—a combination of total confidence and ironic distance. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Beastie Boys Keep It On and On," 24 Apr. 2020 Some studied themselves in the wall-to-wall mirrors; others fixed their gaze on Jones, whose eyes moved from body to body as the dancers executed an arm-swinging gesture imitative of immature gawkiness. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "Without Michael Bennett’s choreography, is it still ‘A Chorus Line’?," 30 Oct. 2019 Denney then chose Stop Predatory Gambling Idaho to argue against the instant racing imitative. Kimberlee Kruesi, The Seattle Times, "Idaho election chief selects arguments for initiatives," 24 July 2018 The third movement’s opening is announced by Minimalist harp figures and muted tones — suggestive of jazz, but not imitative — in the brasses. Seth Colter Walls, New York Times, "Review: The New York Philharmonic Gets Audacious, With Ease," 10 June 2018 The KidsMatter’s imitative ParentsMatterToo also provides a multitude of videos offering parents advice on a variety of childhood issues. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "See something, say something a rule for parents, too, when it comes to school threats, experts say," 15 May 2018 So too did the artists bring out the Mendelssohnian grace of the allegro molto from Opus 8, the imitative figures bouncing from one instrument to the next. John Von Rhein,, "Yo-Yo Ma and friends prove their mastery in Brahms; MOB ventures rare Handel oratorio," 28 Feb. 2018 In February, the council directed staff to collaborate with legal service providers and launch a coordinated imitative to provide access to legal representation to Santa Ana residents at risk of removal who cannot afford an attorney. Jessica Kwong, Orange County Register, "Santa Ana wants to create legal defense fund for immigration detainees facing deportation," 17 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imitative.' 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 imitative

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for imitative

borrowed from Late Latin imitātīvus, from Latin imitātus, past participle of imitārī "to follow as a pattern, imitate" + -īvus -ive

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Time Traveler for imitative

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The first known use of imitative was in 1584

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Cite this Entry

“Imitative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for imitative


How to pronounce imitative (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of imitative

formal : made or done to be like something or someone else


im·​i·​ta·​tive | \ ˈi-mə-ˌtā-tiv How to pronounce imitative (audio) \

Kids Definition of imitative

: made or done to be like something or someone else imitative sounds

More from Merriam-Webster on imitative

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for imitative

Nglish: Translation of imitative for Spanish Speakers

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