mim·​ic·​ry | \ ˈmi-mi-krē How to pronounce mimicry (audio) \
plural mimicries

Definition of mimicry

1a : an instance of mimicking
b : the action, practice, or art of mimicking entertained his family with mimicry and comic skits— Cynthia Ozick
2 : a superficial (see superficial sense 2b) resemblance of one organism to another or to natural objects among which it lives that secures it a selective advantage (such as protection from predation)

Examples of mimicry in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For those who knew her best, with many of her friends since early childhood, Victoria was a life-long prankster with a sense of humor and command of mimicry that could send her audience to the floor! sun-sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 7/10," 10 July 2019 From the opening shot of Ophelia adrift in a river, in mimicry of Millais’s famous painting, the film seems to splash around in search of a suitable style. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Yesterday” Wants to Hold Your Hand," 28 June 2019 The findings suggest that sophisticated social skills like facial mimicry aren’t limited to species that are inherently social. Jake Buehler, National Geographic, "These bears mimic each other's faces as well as people do," 21 Mar. 2019 Elephants have been documented imitating the sounds of trucks and other animals, and parrots are literally synonymous with mimicry. Quanta Magazine, "The Beasts That Keep the Beat," 22 Mar. 2016 Such skills would have required careful observation and mimicry, step-by-step instruction, and an ability to hold a long series of events in one’s mind—an incipient form of plot. Ferris Jabr, Harper's magazine, "The Story of Storytelling," 10 Mar. 2019 Some people reject the idea that blackface – a relic of minstrelsy, popular entertainment from the 19th century rooted in the mimicry and mocking of plantation slaves – is racist. Monica Rhor, USA TODAY, "'Deeply offensive' blackface video of California high school student sparks backlash," 8 Feb. 2019 Why Verge readers might care: Mr. Robot star Rami Malek plays Mercury, and early looks at the movie have mostly focused on his sound-alike performance and impressive mimicry of the singer’s moves and body language. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The Verge fall movie preview, November 2018," 6 Sep. 2018 In an industry infamous for mimicry, other producers haven’t been able to duplicate his success. Alex Bhattacharji, WSJ, "How Producer Jason Blum is Disrupting Hollywood," 16 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of mimicry

1671, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mimicry

Dictionary Entries near mimicry



mimic gene


mimic thrush



Statistics for mimicry

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mimicry

The first known use of mimicry was in 1671

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mimicry



English Language Learners Definition of mimicry

: the activity or art of copying the behavior or speech of other people : the activity or art of mimicking other people


mim·​ic·​ry | \ ˈmi-mi-krē How to pronounce mimicry (audio) \

Kids Definition of mimicry

: a type of protection from predators in which one animal resembles the coloring, form, or behavior of another animal that is harmful or bad-tasting


mim·​ic·​ry | \ ˈmim-i-krē How to pronounce mimicry (audio) \
plural mimicries

Medical Definition of mimicry

: an instance of mimicking something

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on mimicry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mimicry

Spanish Central: Translation of mimicry

Nglish: Translation of mimicry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mimicry for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mimicry

Comments on mimicry

What made you want to look up mimicry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!