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 An impostor, fraudulently posing as a Denver sheriff’s deputy, is dialing up telephone scams demanding money to a direct deposit app account. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Denver sheriff warns of warrant telephone scam demanding direct payment to an app," 12 Nov. 2019 Beware of calls from Social Security Consumers are seeing a sizable uptick in callers from impostors claiming to be Social Security Administration agents. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "Medicare open enrollment brings out the scam artists: Here’s what to watch out for," 11 Nov. 2019 An impostor preyed on Kik near its peak in the news cycle, used the CEO’s likeness in their communications, and issued statements mirroring those previously published by Kik on its Medium blog. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "Why crypto hoaxes are so successful," 26 Sep. 2019 David Sidoo has been charged with paying $100,000 for an impostor to take the SAT for his son Jordan, who enrolled in 2014 and was briefly on the Cal crew team. Nanette Asimov,, "UC Berkeley chancellor confronts diversity, housing challenges as classes resume," 2 Sep. 2019 Relax into a child’s pose if at any point you get overwhelmed by the heat or your impostor syndrome. Irving Ruan Mia Mercado, The New Yorker, "Literal Writing Exercises," 14 Sep. 2019 Industry bodies and regulators keep tabs on would-be impostors. The Economist, "“Olympic”, “royal”, “knob”—the names that can get your business banned," 29 Aug. 2019 Intrigued, the impostor princess wrote to him, offering her support and reminding him that the empress was their common enemy. National Geographic, "This 'pretender princess' tried to steal Catherine the Great's throne," 6 Aug. 2019 On one of the impostor sites, there were several misleading links. Michelle Singletary,, "The Equifax settlement has already spawned deceptive websites," 3 Aug. 2019

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

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Impostor.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for impostor


How to pronounce impostor (audio)

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 imposter (audio) \

Legal Definition of impostor

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

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Comments on impostor

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