sim·​u·​late | \ ˈsim-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce simulate (audio) \
simulated; simulating

Definition of simulate

transitive verb

1 : to give or assume the appearance or effect of often with the intent to deceive : imitate
2 : to make a simulation of (something, such as a physical system)

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Other Words from simulate

simulative \ ˈsim-​yə-​ˌlā-​tiv How to pronounce simulative (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for simulate

assume, affect, pretend, simulate, feign, counterfeit, sham mean to put on a false or deceptive appearance. assume often implies a justifiable motive rather than an intent to deceive. assumed an air of cheerfulness around the patients affect implies making a false show of possessing, using, or feeling. affected an interest in art pretend implies an overt and sustained false appearance. pretended that nothing had happened simulate suggests a close imitation of the appearance of something. cosmetics that simulate a suntan feign implies more artful invention than pretend, less specific mimicry than simulate. feigned sickness counterfeit implies achieving the highest degree of verisimilitude of any of these words. an actor counterfeiting drunkenness sham implies an obvious falseness that fools only the gullible. shammed a most unconvincing limp

Did You Know?

The zircon, that favorite of home shopping channels, simulates a diamond—more or less. A skilled furrier can dye lower-grade furs to simulate real mink. A skilled actress can simulate a range of emotions from absolute joy to crushing despair. And an apparatus that simulates the hazards of driving while intoxicated is likely to provide some very real benefits.

Examples of simulate in a Sentence

The model will be used to simulate the effects of an earthquake. cosmetics that simulate a suntan
Recent Examples on the Web But then Vogel has tried to simulate the NBA’s normal schedule that has teams playing every other day with rest or practice days in between. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "How do the Lakers pass the time after quick playoff series?," 14 Sep. 2020 Designed to simulate life onboard the ISS and test new concepts for future interplanetary missions, NASA's Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) sends groups of astronauts, engineers and scientists to live in Key Largo’s Aquarius Reef Base. Elissaveta M. Brandon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Jacques Cousteau’s Grandson Wants to Build the International Space Station of the Sea," 24 Aug. 2020 Next Friday night, Judge plans to simulate a preseason game during a scrimmage in MetLife Stadium. Tom Canavan,, "Giants scrimmage for first time under new coach Joe Judge," 21 Aug. 2020 In these exercises, around 10,000 employees at a time will simulate handling some sort of crisis, ranging from a localized natural disaster to a Godzilla attack. Brian Barrett, Wired, "How Google Meet Weathered the Work-From-Home Explosion," 11 Aug. 2020 The Bengals attempted to simulate preseason game No. 3 on Sunday night in what was somewhat of a regular season dress rehearsal. Tyler Dragon, The Enquirer, "Here's what we learned from the Cincinnati Bengals' second scrimmage," 31 Aug. 2020 The practice started at noon with the Bears trying to simulate what a home game will be like. Brad Biggs,, "Column: Neither Mitch Trubisky nor Nick Foles has stepped forward in the Bears quarterback competition, and Matt Nagy plans to keep his decision a secret from the Lions. Is it gamesmanship, or is the coach having a tough time picking a winner?," 29 Aug. 2020 Which isn’t to say producers didn’t find ways to siphon in applause — or simulate it entirely. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, "I miss live performances, but what I really miss is applause," 27 Aug. 2020 For me, there’s something lost in chamber music on a computer screen, though the festival staff has done an admirable job in at least trying to simulate the intimacy of a performance on the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center stage. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Arts & Culture Newsletter: ‘Finish the Fight’ marks the centennial of 19th amendment’s ratification," 27 Aug. 2020

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

1652, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for simulate

Latin simulatus, past participle of simulare to copy, represent, feign, from similis like — more at same

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Time Traveler for simulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of simulate was in 1652

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Statistics for simulate

Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Simulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for simulate


How to pronounce simulate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of simulate

: to look, feel, or behave like (something)
sim·​u·​late | \ ˈsim-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce simulate (audio) \
simulated; simulating

Medical Definition of simulate

: to have or produce a symptomatic resemblance to lesions simulating leprosy

Other Words from simulate

simulation \ ˌsim-​yə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce simulation (audio) \ noun
sim·​u·​late | \ ˈsim-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce simulate (audio) \
simulated; simulating

Legal Definition of simulate

in the civil law of Louisiana : to make or carry out in a manner that does not express one's true intent a simulated sale of the debtor's property in which no consideration was paid

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