impersonate

verb
im·​per·​son·​ate | \ im-ˈpər-sə-ˌnāt How to pronounce impersonate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce impersonation (audio) \ noun
impersonator \ im-​ˈpər-​sə-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce impersonator (audio) \ 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 If a person that doesn’t meet the requirements is hired by a community, and then takes enforcement action — trained or not — then that person cannot use being a VPO as a defense to impersonating a peace officer. Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, "Gov. Dunleavy proposes bill to prevent criminals from working as Alaska village police officers," 29 Jan. 2020 He was arrested in 1993 for possessing a weapon with a felony record and impersonating a police officer. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "70-year-old Cleveland veteran killed man who took him in off the streets, family says," 27 Jan. 2020 The former agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has pleaded guilty to helping an inmate try to escape from a Kansas jail by impersonating an immigration officer. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Former ICE agent pleads guilty in foiled Kansas escape plot," 18 Oct. 2019 Brenden Wysynski was arrested and charged as an adult with impersonating a peace officer on Monday September 9, a criminal complaint obtained by CNN affiliate KOAT said. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, "A teenager allegedly impersonated a police officer and pulled over a car," 3 Oct. 2019 The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office filed charges of marijuana possession and impersonating a peace officer – both felonies – on Sept. 4, according to the station. Fox News, "Arizona man in suspected drug deal told police he was an undercover officer, court documents say," 10 Sep. 2019 California’s attorney general has charged a Milpitas woman with impersonating a pharmacist and dispensing hundreds of thousands of prescriptions at Walgreens stores in the Bay Area over several years. Joseph Geha, The Mercury News, "Attorney general files criminal charges against Bay Area Walgreens’ fake pharmacist," 30 July 2019 Gregory Gruszka, 43, is charged with impersonating a police officer and vandalism, both felony charges, and misdemeanor assault in the attack on George Zarycki III. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "Registered sex offender accused of wielding billy club, fake badge in Brook Park road-rage confrontation," 3 July 2019 The Queens District Attorney’s office has yet to charge Mr. Ransom, whom police described as a career criminal previously charged with impersonating a police officer. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "NYPD Officials Say Detective Was Killed in Crossfire With Fellow Officers," 13 Feb. 2019

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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Time Traveler for impersonate

Time Traveler

The first known use of impersonate was in 1715

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Statistics for impersonate

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impersonate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impersonate. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for impersonate

impersonate

verb
How to pronounce impersonate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of impersonate

: to pretend to be (another person)

impersonate

verb
im·​per·​son·​ate | \ im-ˈpər-sə-ˌnāt How to pronounce impersonate (audio) \
impersonated; impersonating

Kids Definition of impersonate

: to pretend to be another person

impersonate

transitive verb
im·​per·​son·​ate | \ im-ˈpər-sə-ˌnāt How to pronounce impersonate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce impersonator (audio) \ noun

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