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

Mason Cree Jones, 27, was arrested just before 5:30 p.m. Thursday and charged with impersonating a peace officer, a Class D felony. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Police say Louisville man impersonated an officer ... to police officers," 23 Apr. 2019 Together Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St. ($46.50-$169.50), 212-239-6200 Ms. Barks, who has evidently been hired to impersonate Julia Roberts, does so with impressive accuracy and no trace of originality. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "‘Pretty Woman’ Review: Super-Safe Sex on Broadway," 17 Aug. 2018 During an investigation, a Kenton County detective impersonated a teenager and responded to communications from Phillip Norris, 35, of Independence, Kentucky. , Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "Police: Man sought sex with detective posing as teen," 26 June 2019 My grandfather impersonated a Nazi official and removed the Jew-hating Der Sturmer newspaper from the newsstands of Fischhausen, a rural town in East Prussia. David Molton, WSJ, "My Family’s American Life Almost Wasn’t," 23 May 2019 In 2018 alone, the agency received 3.8 million complaints about unwanted robocalls, which have proliferated in part because technology advancements have enabled perpetrators to impersonate other phone numbers. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Robocall 'crackdown': FTC blocks more than a billion illegal calls, but problem festers," 7 May 2019 In 2018, he was found guilty of impersonating a federal law enforcement officer while trying to buy a motorcycle in San Leandro. Lauren Hernández, SFChronicle.com, "The Scanner: A fake cop busted by real cops, and a real cop busted by a fake girl," 10 June 2019 But now fans think that Arya will take Jaime's face and use it to impersonate him and finally kill the Mad Queen for good, which would keep the Valonqar prophecy intact. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Will Arya Take Jaime's Face and Kill Cersei on 'Game of Thrones'?," 29 Apr. 2019 Because the key was identical for all installations of the software, hackers could use the root certificate to generate forged TLS certificates that impersonated any HTTPS website on the Internet. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Sennheiser discloses monumental blunder that cripples HTTPS on PCs and Macs," 28 Nov. 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.

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First Known Use of impersonate

1715, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for impersonate

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for impersonate

The first known use of impersonate was in 1715

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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 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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