impersonate

verb
im·​per·​son·​ate | \ im-ˈpər-sə-ˌnāt \
impersonated; impersonating

Definition of impersonate

transitive verb

: to assume or act the character of : personate

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Other Words from impersonate

impersonation \ im-​ˌpər-​sə-​ˈnā-​shən \ noun
impersonator \ im-​ˈpər-​sə-​ˌnā-​tər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for impersonate

impersonate, play, and act mean to pretend to be somebody else. impersonate is used when someone tries to look and sound like another person as much as possible. You're good at impersonating celebrities. play is used when someone takes a part in a play, movie, or TV show. You can play the part of the spy. act may be used in situations other than performing in a drama or pretending to be a person. Act like you're a dog.

Examples of impersonate in a Sentence

He was arrested for impersonating a police officer. a comedian with a talent for impersonating famous politicians and actors

Recent Examples on the Web

Vilchez Lazo was originally charged with impersonating a ride-share driver. Paul Elias, The Seattle Times, "Man suspected in California serial rapes drove for Lyft," 17 July 2018 An Aurora man who authorities said flashed a badge and attempted to get a motorist to pull over has been charged with impersonating a police officer. Clifford Ward, chicagotribune.com, "Man driving Camaro charged with impersonating cop after allegedly trying to pull over motorist," 10 May 2018 The mini-game show is a parody of the iconic Match Game, in which Ru tasks the queens of Drag Race with impersonating their favorite celebrities in order to make the guest contestants laugh. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Alex Trebek to Return Favor, Appear On 'Drag Race' Following RuPaul's 'Jeopardy' Cameo," 24 Apr. 2018 The fake texts are the latest example of electronic communications being used to impersonate a member of the Trump administration. Michael C. Bender, WSJ, "FBI Investigating Fake Texts Sent to GOP House Members," 4 Jan. 2019 Then there were the bizarre stories, like reports that a house guest of his impersonated him and called the US Park Police, which fall under the Interior Department, to respond to dispute with a neighbor over a parking spot. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Ryan Zinke to resign as Interior Secretary at the end of the year," 15 Dec. 2018 The 47-year-old Gignac, locked up in a Miami detention center since November, is now awaiting sentencing next month after pleading guilty to impersonating a foreign government official, identity theft and fraud. Jay Weaver, miamiherald, "Fake sultan's scam of a Miami billionaire fizzled after reckless Ferrari drive, pork meals," 6 July 2018 One of the most popular and long-running tax season scams is the arrest scam where individuals receive phone calls from con artists impersonating IRS agents who threaten arrest, deportation or license revocation if a payment isn't made immediately. Melissa Ramsey, Houston Chronicle, "Protect yourself from these scams during tax season," 15 Mar. 2018 Appearing in the Cold Open as Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Matt Damon impersonated the Judge's hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Matt Damon Made a Surprise SNL Appearance as Brett Kavanaugh Last Night," 30 Sep. 2018

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

1715, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for impersonate

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impersonate

The first known use of impersonate was in 1715

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More Definitions for impersonate

impersonate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of impersonate

: to pretend to be (another person)

impersonate

verb
im·​per·​son·​ate | \ im-ˈpər-sə-ˌnāt \
impersonated; impersonating

Kids Definition of impersonate

: to pretend to be another person

impersonate

transitive verb
im·​per·​son·​ate | \ im-ˈpər-sə-ˌnāt \
impersonated; impersonating

Legal Definition of impersonate

: to assume (another's or a fictitious identity) without authority and with fraudulent intent impersonate a police officer impersonated a public servant by saying he was from the water department

Other Words from impersonate

impersonator \ -​ˌnā-​tər \ noun

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