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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 Waller celebrated the score with a nod to Houston by impersonating Rockets star James Harden. oregonlive, "Deshaun Watson throws three TD passes to lead the Houston Texans past the Oakland Raiders: Recap, score, stats and more," 27 Oct. 2019 Plus, Sarah Palin says comedian Sacha Baron Cohen duped her by impersonating a disabled veteran in a wheelchair. Fox News, "Media malign Trump Europe trip," 15 July 2018 One suspicious set of calls appeared to impersonate the company 3M, which makes masks that can help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Anchorage Daily News, "Scam robocalls are pitching fake coronavirus tests to vulnerable Americans," 19 Mar. 2020 Aside from showing up to your door, scammers could try to impersonate the CDC or other health officials through social media, emails, texts and websites. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "No, federal health workers are not knocking on doors in New Jersey over coronavirus," 10 Mar. 2020 What makes all of this so intriguing is that the Chiefs' are named after a white man who impersonated Native American culture. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "How the Kansas City Chiefs got their name, and why it's so controversial," 1 Feb. 2020 Turned out, Smith, Duke and Stewart — the woman who had posted their photos on Facebook — were all part of the same Felony Lane Gang cell, which typically consists of several men and at least one woman who impersonates victims and cashes bad checks. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "FBI: Felony Lane Gang has been terrorizing moms across US for years," 17 Jan. 2020 Turned out, Smith, Duke and Stewart – the woman who had posted their photos on Facebook – were all part of the same Felony Lane Gang cell, which typically consists of several men and at least one woman who impersonates victims and cashes bad checks. Tresa Baldas, USA TODAY, "FBI: Felony Lane Gang has been terrorizing moms across US for years," 17 Jan. 2020 Also included in YouTube's ban are attempts to artificially boost numbers of likes, views or comments on videos and channels that impersonate others or try to conceal their connection to a government actor, the company said. Greg Bensinger, Anchorage Daily News, "YouTube bans some misleading or doctored political videos," 3 Feb. 2020

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

Time Traveler for impersonate

Time Traveler

The first known use of impersonate was in 1715

See more words from the same year

Statistics for impersonate

Last Updated

6 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impersonate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impersonate. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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.

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

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

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!