mimesis

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noun mi·me·sis \mə-ˈmē-səs, mī-\

Definition of mimesis

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Mimesis is a term with an undeniably classical pedigree. Originally a Greek word, it has been used in aesthetic or artistic theory to refer to the attempt to imitate or reproduce reality since Plato and Aristotle. "Mimesis" is derived from the Greek verb mimeisthai, which means "to imitate" and which itself comes from mimos, meaning "mime." The English word mime also descends from "mimos," as do "mimic" and "mimicry." And what about "mimeograph," the name of the duplicating machine that preceded the photocopier? We can't be absolutely certain what the folks at the A. B. Dick Company had in mind when they came up with "Mimeograph" (a trademark name that has since expired), but influence from "mimos" and its descendants certainly seems probable.

Origin and Etymology of mimesis

Late Latin, from Greek mimēsis, from mimeisthai


First Known Use: 1550


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