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

Frota proudly recounts a Twitter dispute between himself and Eduardo Bolsonaro, congressman and son of the president, imitating Bolsonaro in a moaning voice. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "A porn star turned politician says the biggest porn stars are all in congress," 12 July 2019 Now, in the organic way of the popular short-form video platform TikTok, the song is getting a second life with this revival as a meme people are imitating. Raisa Bruner, Time, "People Are Really Stepping It Up With This 'Walk A Mile in These Louboutins' Meme," 9 July 2019 Such figures include Bella Noche, whom Desmond conducted a Facebook livestream with, in which Desmond referenced ketamine and imitated snorting it. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "‘Desmond Is Amazing’ Needs Saving," 11 June 2019 Mano Dura paralleled the military’s tactics in the years leading up to the war, when government forces targeted young men whose wardrobes imitated American fashion styles. Daniel Castro, Harper's magazine, "The Truce," 10 June 2019 In that movie, researchers in Antarctica are plagued by a parasitic being that's able to assimilate into/imitate other humans — is this a hint that some of the people in Hawkins are going to turn out to be Upside-Downers in disguise? Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "'Stranger Things 3' Promises to Be Funny, Harrowing, and Full of '80s References," 24 May 2019 The new right in Brazil is trying to imitate the new right in the US. Anna Jean Kaiser, The Seattle Times, "Brazil’s Bolsonaro visits Israel amid speculation on embassy," 29 Mar. 2019 School is supposed to show them what to imitate about adults and about each other. Titus Techera, National Review, "A Teacher Confronts Reality," 26 June 2019 This concordance between the visual and the electrical in graphene almost seems to be an example of life imitating art right down to the quantum level. Quanta Magazine, "When Magic Is Seen in Twisted Graphene, That’s a Moiré," 20 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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Statistics for imitate

Last Updated

22 Jul 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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