simulacrum

play
noun sim·u·la·crum \ˌsim-yə-ˈla-krəm, -ˈlā-\

Definition of simulacrum

plural

simulacra

play \ˌsim-yə-ˈla-krə, -ˈlā-\ also

simulacrums

  1. 1 :  image, representation a reasonable simulacrum of reality — Martin Mayer

  2. 2 :  an insubstantial form or semblance of something :  trace

simulacrum was our Word of the Day on 07/24/2016. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

It's not a figment of your imagination; there is a similarity between simulacrum and simulate. Both of those English words derive from simulare, a Latin verb meaning "to copy, represent, or feign." In its earliest English uses, simulacrum named something that provided an image or representation (as, for instance, a portrait, marble statue, or wax figure representing a person). Perhaps because a simulacrum, no matter how skillfully done, is not the real thing, the word gained an extended sense emphasizing the superficiality or insubstantiality of a thing.

Origin and Etymology of simulacrum

Middle English, from Latin, from simulare


First Known Use: 15th century


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