mim·​ic | \ ˈmi-mik How to pronounce mimic (audio) \

Definition of mimic

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : mime sense 2 She's a talented mimic.
2 : one that mimics



Definition of mimic (Entry 2 of 3)

b : imitation, mock a mimic battle
2 : of or relating to mime or mimicry


mimicked\ ˈmi-​mikt How to pronounce mimicked (audio) \; mimicking

Definition of mimic (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to imitate closely : ape He mimicked her accent.
2 : to ridicule by imitation The comic mimicked the president's mannerisms.
3 : simulate vegetable dishes that mimic meat— Carolone Bates
4 : to resemble by biological mimicry a butterfly that mimics a leaf

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Choose the Right Synonym for mimic


copy, imitate, mimic, ape, mock mean to make something so that it resembles an existing thing. copy suggests duplicating an original as nearly as possible. copied the painting and sold the fake as an original imitate suggests following a model or a pattern but may allow for some variation. imitate a poet's style mimic implies a close copying (as of voice or mannerism) often for fun, ridicule, or lifelike imitation. pupils mimicking their teacher ape may suggest presumptuous, slavish, or inept imitating of a superior original. American fashion designers aped their European colleagues mock usually implies imitation with derision. mocking a vain man's pompous manner

Examples of mimic in a Sentence

Noun a gifted mimic who can do a terrific imitation of anyone's voice a mimic in black clothes and white facial makeup Adjective police were concerned that the mimic gun, although intended only as a toy, might be confused with the real thing in certain situations a mimic battle fought by kids playing around in the schoolyard Verb She has a talent for mimicking famous actresses. The lamp mimics natural sunlight. a butterfly that mimics a leaf
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The move mimics travel bans imposed by many other countries, which China had resisted when the majority of global cases were within its borders. Sybilla Gross, Bloomberg.com, "Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day," 5 May 2020 The fund mimics stimulus payments by providing around $1,200 per family. Rebecca Plevin, USA TODAY, "In CA: A call to donate stimulus checks to support undocumented families," 2 May 2020 How China locked down tens of millions of people The measures implemented in Italy and under consideration the U.S. mimic, at least partially, some of the tough decisions China took in its battle against the coronavirus. Amy Gunia, Time, "China’s Draconian Lockdown Is Getting Credit for Slowing Coronavirus. Would It Work Anywhere Else?," 13 Mar. 2020 This kind of test mimics the most challenging conditions a system might face during launch so scientists can identify any weaknesses and help shore them up as development continues. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Watch This Rocket Engine's 3D-Printed Thrust Chamber Ace a 'Hot Fire' Test," 20 Mar. 2020 While its architectural style mimics that of the hotel, Uh May is also the grounds for a contemporary art museum, SFER IK, Roth’s own home, and a space to hold artisan workshops for Mayans and visitors alike. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "A Fantastical World of Art and Hospitality in the Heart of Tulum’s Jungle," 23 Dec. 2019 Given that parrots are superb mimics, could Snowball have been imitating someone outside the frame? Susan Pinker, WSJ, "Humans and Other Dancing Animals," 25 Jan. 2020 Cybersecurity specialists who reviewed a technical report from the Saudi cybersecurity agency said the attack mimics others sponsored by Iran. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "Iran blamed for cyberattack against Saudi Arabia," 8 Jan. 2020 None of the actors – with the possible exception of Awkwafina – are terribly good mimics so things get a bit muddled. Mark Kennedy, Detroit Free Press, "‘Jumanji’ franchise sticks with winning formula in ‘Next Level’," 12 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That raises a new dilemma: Some allergy symptoms, such as coughing, mimic signs of COVID-19. Alexis Shanes, USA TODAY, "How to tell the difference between coronavirus symptoms and allergies," 30 Apr. 2020 Wunderpus and mimic octopuses are the ultimate quick-change artists, hiding in plain sight by impersonating everything from rocks and seaweed to sea snakes and lionfish. Eric Scigliano, National Geographic, "Is it wrong to keep octopuses in captivity?," 15 Oct. 2019 Jessica, with a mimic’s gift for languages, spoke with authority and ease. Bill Buford, The New Yorker, "Baking Bread in Lyon," 6 Apr. 2020 But Wood and other experts fear that too much enthusiasm may endanger two of the most dazzling species: the striped or wunderpus octopus (discovered in the 1980s) and its cousin, the mimic octopus (identified only in 1998). National Geographic, "Can the United States stop poaching at home?," 17 Oct. 2019 Some bacteria release mimic compounds that appears to be CEACAMs, imposters cross the blood-brain barrier and hack the immune system to thwart a response. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Forever War Against Parasites Trying To Control Our Brains," 23 Sep. 2019 Step one: The personality algorithm IDEIA doesn’t only mimic Cambridge Analytica’s language: Both companies use similar methods of determining personality based on social media activity. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "A ‘big data’ firm sells Cambridge Analytica’s methods to global politicians, documents show," 14 Aug. 2019 Snake-mimic caterpillar The larvae of hawk moths ward off predators by impersonating deadly pit vipers. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "Imitation crab? Meet 6 creatures that steal others’ looks," 7 Aug. 2019 Among a series of items the company offers that mimic pasta (a ravioli spoon rest; a penne garlic peeler) are the handy Mafaldine elastic silicone bands. BostonGlobe.com, "The most useful pasta you’ll ever have," 11 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some scammers create mirror websites to mimic the real deal and use them to steal confidential payment information. Leah Napoliello, Houston Chronicle, "BBB on Homes: 5 ways you can avoid online food-delivery scams," 23 May 2020 The rules at Hurricane Bay mimic those at Kentucky Kingdom's main park. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Here's how Kentucky Kingdom will look different after reopening during coronavirus," 23 May 2020 Plants that are poisonous can look very similar to those that are edible: For example, fatal hemlock can closely mimic the leaves of wild chervil (similar to parsley). Kelsey Ogletree, Better Homes & Gardens, "8 Common Weeds in Your Backyard You Can Actually Eat," 21 May 2020 The syndrome can mimic Kawasaki disease, a rare inflammatory condition seen in young children that is one of the leading causes of heart disease in youth. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana gets first case of mysterious coronavirus-linked illness that targets children," 18 May 2020 For other players, however, the studio uses athletes to mimic batting stances and pitch deliveries. Popular Science, "How MLB The Show became the most realistic baseball simulator," 19 Apr. 2020 There's even a chance that Mazda will mimic Lexus and put the inline-six into both four- and two-door bodies. Jared Gall, Car and Driver, "Next-Gen Mazda 6 Switching to RWD Layout, Inline-Six Power," 13 Apr. 2020 And since a dry cough is a key sign of Covid-19, any cough caused by smoking a joint of weed could easily mimic that symptom, making diagnosis more difficult. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Smoking weed and coronavirus: Even occasional use raises risk of Covid-19 complications," 10 Apr. 2020 And China has adopted Russia’s playbook for more covert operations, mimicking Kremlin disinformation campaigns and using and amplifying some of the same conspiracy sites. Matthew Rosenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "As virus spreads, China and Russia see openings for disinformation," 28 Mar. 2020

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


1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1671, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mimic

Adjective, Noun, and Verb

Latin mimicus, from Greek mimikos, from mimos mime

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Time Traveler for mimic

Time Traveler

The first known use of mimic was in 1596

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Statistics for mimic

Last Updated

15 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mimic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mimic. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for mimic


How to pronounce mimic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mimic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who copies the behavior or speech of other people : a person who mimics other people also : an animal that naturally looks like something else



English Language Learners Definition of mimic (Entry 2 of 2)

: to copy (someone or someone's behavior or speech) especially for humor
: to create the appearance or effect of (something)
: to naturally look like (something)


mim·​ic | \ ˈmi-mik How to pronounce mimic (audio) \

Kids Definition of mimic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person or animal that imitates something or someone Parrots can be excellent mimics of human speech.


mimicked; mimicking

Kids Definition of mimic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to imitate very closely She can mimic her favorite actress.
2 : to make fun of by imitating Stop mimicking everything I say.


mim·​ic | \ ˈmim-ik How to pronounce mimic (audio) \

Medical Definition of mimic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one that mimics a mimic of a naturally occurring hormone
mimicked\ -​ikt How to pronounce mimicked (audio) \; mimicking

Medical Definition of mimic (Entry 2 of 2)

: to imitate or resemble closely: as
a : to imitate the symptoms of an acute inflammatory process located in the ileocecal region mimics acute appendicitisMerck Manual
b : to produce an effect and especially a physiological effect similar to chemically unrelated to the hormone that it mimicsChemical & Engineering News

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More from Merriam-Webster on mimic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mimic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mimic

Spanish Central: Translation of mimic

Nglish: Translation of mimic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mimic for Arabic Speakers

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