per·​son·​ate ˈpər-sə-ˌnāt How to pronounce personate (audio)
personated; personating

transitive verb

: to assume without authority and with fraudulent intent (some character or capacity)
: to invest with personality or personal characteristics
personating their gods ridiculous, and themselves past shameJohn Milton
personation noun
personative adjective
personator noun

Examples of personate in a Sentence

likes to personate the man of the world, but he's still the small-town hick that he always was
Recent Examples on the Web Till’s motifs swept though the ensemble, as horns, clarinets, bassoons, violin all had a chance to personate the character. By Libby Hanssen,, 3 June 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'personate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of personate was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near personate

Cite this Entry

“Personate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Legal Definition


transitive verb
per·​son·​ate ˈpərs-ᵊn-ˌāt How to pronounce personate (audio)
personated; personating
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