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

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 He was known for his sense of humor and an uncanny ability to impersonate people. Jeff Karoub, BostonGlobe.com, "Odessa shooting: Here’s what we know about the victims," 2 Sep. 2019 He was known for his sense of humor and an uncanny ability to impersonate people. Washington Post, "Mail carrier, high school student among dead in Texas attack," 2 Sep. 2019 Scammers pushing links with viruses, malware, and identity theft scammers are almost certain to impersonate debt collectors. David Vladeck, WIRED, "The Consumer Bureau's Reckless Plan for Debt Collection," 23 Aug. 2019 This comes just days after Dog had to warn his followers about internet scammers impersonating him and Beth on social media. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Dog the Bounty Hunter Is 'Coming' for Thieves Who Stole Late Wife Beth's Personal Items," 4 Aug. 2019 Some Iranian Twitter accounts, FireEye found, even sought to impersonate U.S. political candidates, including a California Republican who ultimately lost the general election for Congress. Anchorage Daily News, "It’s not just the Russians anymore as Iranians and others turn up disinformation efforts ahead of 2020 vote," 26 July 2019 In the opening phase of the House Judiciary Committee hearing, former special counsel Robert Mueller did his best to impersonate a potted plant. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony resolves nothing," 24 July 2019 Mr Watkins also points out that America even seems to have used falsified transponder numbers to impersonate Iranian planes on occasion. The Economist, "America claims to have downed an Iranian drone," 19 July 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

8 Sep 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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