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 Morrison will tell the story of how Betsy’s friend Pamela Hupp impersonated a Dateline producer to lure a man to her home before murdering him. Lynette Rice, EW.com, "Dateline NBC's Keith Morrison promises his new true-crime podcast is full of 'twists and turns'," 17 Sep. 2019 Read more: Police say a man was impersonating officers. Michael Brice-saddler, Washington Post, "Officers who led a black suspect through the streets won’t be criminally investigated, state says," 16 Aug. 2019 Michels and Lord rented a limo, then called in to the school, impersonating Fuller’s assistant, to cancel his ride from the airport, and picked him up themselves. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "The epic tale of the House of the Century, the trippy Texas icon that defies polite description," 12 July 2019 An Indiana state lawmaker is accused of impersonating a police officer to find cocaine, driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest, according to prosecutors. NBC News, "Indiana lawmaker arrested for impersonating police to find coke, driving while intoxicated," 16 Aug. 2019 Barnes has also previously been charged and convicted of impersonating a police officer in Baltimore County in 1995. Mckenna Oxenden, baltimoresun.com, "No bond for security guard charged with raping woman and impersonating a police officer," 14 June 2019 Someone may call impersonating an official from the IRS, Social Security or some other federal agency and demand payment. Heloise, Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Traveling on the card," 26 July 2019 In Africa, there’s a story about a girl freed from the stomach of an ogre who impersonated her brother. Ferris Jabr, Harper's magazine, "The Story of Storytelling," 10 Mar. 2019 Grande is suing the clothing chain Forever 21 and its spin-off cosmetics brand, Riley Rose, alleging the company used a look-alike model to impersonate her in a new ad campaign. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Ariana Grande suing Forever 21 for $10 million for using look-alike model and copying music video," 4 Sep. 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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Statistics for impersonate

Last Updated

3 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for impersonate

The first known use of impersonate was in 1715

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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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