im·​pos·​tor | \ im-ˈpä-stər How to pronounce impostor (audio) \
variants: or imposter

Definition of impostor

: one that assumes false identity or title for the purpose of deception

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Examples of impostor in a Sentence

He claimed he was an experienced pilot, but he turned out to be an impostor. the man who claimed to be a prince turned out to be an impostor
Recent Examples on the Web Is your pursuit of training a salve for impostor syndrome or other confidence issue that can be better handled to acknowledging the issue head-on? Caroline Ceniza-levine, Forbes, "5 Ways Additional Training Can Help Your Career – And When It Doesn’t," 20 Mar. 2021 For ordinary Partizan fans, Mr. Belivuk was never really a supporter but an impostor sent by Mr. Vucic to control and discredit his own team’s bitter rivals. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "Arrests Shake Up a Soccer Scene in Serbia Ruled by Gangsters and ‘Gravediggers’," 20 Mar. 2021 People with impostor feelings often forget or diminish their accomplishments. Cordilia James, WSJ, "Does Covid Have You Feeling Like a Fraud at Work?," 14 Mar. 2021 This may reveal some underlying issues around impostor syndrome that may need to be addressed. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "How To Get Comfortable With Not Knowing: 15 Leadership Tips," 9 Mar. 2021 Embrace the impostor syndrome as a gateway to connection. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, "How ‘Sound of Metal’ taught us how to live during lockdown," 8 Mar. 2021 Many of the impostor websites offer payment methods such as Zelle and Square. Wsj Noted., WSJ, "Scammers Are Setting Up Fake Covid Vaccine Websites," 26 Feb. 2021 Impresario Scaramouch wants to feature Bacchus, god of wine, in a show — and will settle for an impostor. Matthew J. Palm,, "A raucous Renaissance throwback at Theatre UCF | Review," 21 Feb. 2021 As these data packets speed through the filters, service providers may receive unencrypted access to review the incoming traffic -- a place where an impostor could lurk to intercept data, according to Convertino. Kartikay Mehrotra, Fortune, "Parler’s new partner has ties to the Russian government," 22 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impostor.' 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 impostor

1564, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for impostor

Late Latin impostor, from Latin imponere

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Time Traveler for impostor

Time Traveler

The first known use of impostor was in 1564

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Statistics for impostor

Last Updated

30 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impostor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for impostor



English Language Learners Definition of impostor

: a person who deceives others by pretending to be someone else


variants: or imposter \ im-​ˈpä-​stər \

Kids Definition of impostor

: a person who deceives others by pretending to be someone else


variants: or imposter \ im-​ˈpäs-​tər How to pronounce impostor (audio) \

Legal Definition of impostor

: one that assumes a false identity or title for the purpose of deception : impersonator

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