impersonate

verb

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

transitive verb

: to assume or act the character of : personate
impersonation noun
impersonator noun

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 The touring act doesn’t aim to impersonate their grandparents, but to honor them and their music. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 26 Feb. 2024 The car resembled a law enforcement vehicle, leading deputies to be concerned that the suspect may have tried to impersonate a peace officer. Ishani Desai, Sacramento Bee, 26 Feb. 2024 However, there have been instances where these bots have been used to impersonate Black Americans and spread misinformation or biased narratives. Elijah Clark, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 In Michigan, 20% of the complaints involved identity theft, 15% involved some scammer impersonating someone else, and 14% of the complaints involved issues with credit bureaus and others. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 19 Feb. 2024 That’s according to Hong Kong police who said that fraudsters targeted a finance employee based in the city for a multinational firm and then used live deepfakes to impersonate the company’s chief financial officer and other executives on a video call. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 6 Feb. 2024 Timberlake also showed up on a 2012 episode to impersonate Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. Matthew Strauss, Pitchfork, 19 Jan. 2024 Plus, a deepfake robocall, impersonating President Joe Biden, discouraged voters in New England from voting in their primary this year. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Federal regulators outlawed deepfake robocalls last Thursday, like the ones impersonating President Joe Biden in New Hampshire’s primary election. Maxwell Zeff / Gizmodo, Quartz, 12 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impersonate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1715, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of impersonate was in 1715

Dictionary Entries Near impersonate

Cite this Entry

“Impersonate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impersonate. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

impersonate

verb
im·​per·​son·​ate im-ˈpərs-ᵊn-ˌāt How to pronounce impersonate (audio)
impersonated; impersonating
: to pretend to be some other person
impersonate a police officer
impersonation
-ˌpərs-ᵊn-ˈā-shən
noun
impersonator
-ˈpərs-ᵊn-ˌāt-ər
noun

Legal Definition

impersonate

transitive verb
im·​per·​son·​ate im-ˈpər-sə-ˌnāt How to pronounce impersonate (audio)
impersonated; impersonating
: 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
impersonator noun

More from Merriam-Webster on impersonate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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