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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from impersonate

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

Synonyms for impersonate

Synonyms

act, do, interpret, perform, play, portray

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Beware of fake coupons Con artists don't just try to impersonate the Internal Revenue Service. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Amazon Prime Day: Gift cards, coupons and other scams to watch for," 14 July 2018 Schulman serves as the host and executive producer for the popular MTV show, which investigates online relationships and exposes people who impersonate others on the internet — and is based on his 2010 documentary. Jodi Guglielmi, PEOPLE.com, "Catfish's Nev Schulman on Being Cleared of Sexual Misconduct Allegations: 'I Felt So Powerless'," 11 July 2018 An actor who impersonated former Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong delivered a speech at a conference about blockchain technology in China, causing outrage and forcing organizers to apologize. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "A Mao Impersonator at a Blockchain Conference in China Sparks Outcry," 30 May 2018 What makes someone look like Ali G, rather than like any of the icons Ali G was impersonating? Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Oh God, Are We Really Dressing Like Ali G?," 6 Apr. 2018 Last year’s bill tried to bar the use of any software that impersonates a human and conceals its real identity, but the tech industry quickly opposed it because such software often is used for benevolent purposes such as customer service. Rebecca Beitsch, Philly.com, "Despite bans, 'Hamilton,' Springsteen tix still vacuumed up by bots," 2 Feb. 2018 Recent searches found at least 28 accounts impersonating him on Facebook and at least 61 on Instagram. Jack Nicas, New York Times, "Oprah, Is That You? On Social Media, the Answer Is Often No.," 7 July 2018 And a 23-year-old River Rouge man was charged for impersonating a police officer earlier this month after attempting to pull over a woman on the Lodge Freeway near Interstate 94. Omar Abdel-baqui, Detroit Free Press, "White Lake man arrested after police find badges in his home," 12 Apr. 2018 He was charged with felony impersonating a police officer and could face five years in prison. Campbell Lutz, ajc, "Cops: Teen impersonated officer, gave false information about fireworks," 10 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of impersonate

1715, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about impersonate

Share impersonate

Statistics for impersonate

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impersonate

The first known use of impersonate was in 1715

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on impersonate

What made you want to look up impersonate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!