im·​pos·​ture | \ im-ˈpäs-chər How to pronounce imposture (audio) \

Definition of imposture

1 : the act or practice of deceiving by means of an assumed character or name
2 : an instance of imposture

Choose the Right Synonym for imposture

imposture, fraud, sham, fake, humbug, counterfeit mean a thing made to seem other than it is. imposture applies to any situation in which a spurious object or performance is passed off as genuine. their claim of environmental concern is an imposture fraud usually implies a deliberate perversion of the truth. the diary was exposed as a fraud sham applies to fraudulent imitation of a real thing or action. condemned the election as a sham fake implies an imitation of or substitution for the genuine but does not necessarily imply dishonesty. these jewels are fakes; the real ones are in the vault humbug suggests elaborate pretense usually so flagrant as to be transparent. creating publicity by foisting humbugs on a gullible public counterfeit applies especially to the close imitation of something valuable. 20-dollar bills that were counterfeits

Examples of imposture in a Sentence

He was accused of imposture.
Recent Examples on the Web By the end, this newly bold Portia, empowered by imposture, is more singer than speaker. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2022 This form of imposture has a pedigree — or a past, anyway. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 19 Oct. 2021 Fake men can’t live: the cost of the imposture proves too high, and the good fake men—the ones like Vision—will take their own lives or let themselves be killed. Stephanie Burt, The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2021 When Daniel is released and skips his work assignment at a sawmill to pose as a new priest in a small town, his imposture — as Father Tomasz — verges on blasphemy. Armond White, National Review, 20 Feb. 2020 And who wants to be the party-pooper who says that some kinds of imposture are less fair than others? Ty Burr,, 12 July 2018 Thus begins a chain of machinations, impostures, and stratagems, including mare’s sweat, pirates, cross-dressing, and mistaken identity. John Timpane,, 14 Sep. 2017 The actual lady’s maid (wryly mocking Stephanie Goodman) is fully on to Bludgepot’s imposture and watches his scrambling with a sardonic smirk. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, 17 Apr. 2017 A comic look at art, race, and imposture from award-winner James Ijames., 28 May 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imposture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of imposture

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for imposture

Late Latin impostura, from Latin impositus, impostus, past participle of imponere

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Time Traveler for imposture

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The first known use of imposture was in 1537

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Cite this Entry

“Imposture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for imposture


im·​pos·​ture | \ im-ˈpäs-chər How to pronounce imposture (audio) \

Kids Definition of imposture

: the act of deceiving others by pretending to be someone else


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