sim·​u·​la·​tion | \ˌsim-yə-ˈlā-shən \

Definition of simulation 

1 : the act or process of simulating

2 : a sham object : counterfeit

3a : the imitative representation of the functioning of one system or process by means of the functioning of another a computer simulation of an industrial process

b : examination of a problem often not subject to direct experimentation by means of a simulating device

Examples of simulation in a Sentence

a computer simulation of spaceflight a simulation of the planet's surface They use computer simulation to predict weather conditions.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The researchers then ran computer simulations to come up with a range of potential impacts, while focusing on the most extreme droughts and extended heat waves because the beer industry had already been accounting for milder scenarios. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Beer Makers’ Steps to Mitigate Climate Change Might Not Be Enough, Study Shows," 15 Oct. 2018 Because of the warmer water, computer simulations predict Michael’s central pressure will plunge just before making landfall, which is a sign of intensification, said Weather Underground’s Jeff Masters. Seth Borenstein, The Seattle Times, "Hurricane Michael headed to Florida is classic October storm," 9 Oct. 2018 Murakami's study used computer simulations to isolate different climate conditions. Seth Borenstein, Fox News, "Warm waters boosted 2017's major hurricane tally, study says," 27 Sep. 2018 Such an event has never been witnessed, but future sky surveys could capture such an event in action, so the paper—which relied on computer simulations—serves as a sort of guideline to what to look for. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Black Holes Reignite Dead Stars and Turn Them Into Zombies," 30 Aug. 2018 Here the researchers turned to a computer simulation. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "The secret to Mars’ past warmth could be beneath Curiosity’s wheels," 9 Aug. 2018 Leleu's team ran computer simulations to see how the shapes of Saturn's inner moons might have evolved over time. Charles Q. Choi,, "Here's Why Saturn's Inner Moons Are Shaped Like Ravioli and Potatoes," 22 May 2018 In the simulations, artificial life-forms compete for limited resources. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 Next up is a simulation of being in a real car, using surround-vision screens -- a far cry from my memories of pushing a button on a small DMV screen. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "I joined Saudi women drivers on their first long and winding road trip," 19 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for simulation

Middle English simulacion, from Anglo-French, from Latin simulation-, simulatio, from simulare

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Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for simulation

The first known use of simulation was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of simulation

: something that is made to look, feel, or behave like something else especially so that it can be studied or used to train people


sim·​u·​la·​tion | \ˌsim-yə-ˈlā-shən \

Legal Definition of simulation 

in the civil law of Louisiana

1 : the act of simulating

2 : a contract that by mutual agreement does not express the true intent of the parties — see also counterletter — compare disguised donation at donation

Note: Although a simulation does not have effect as between the parties, its lack of effect may not be asserted against third parties, such as creditors or bona fide purchasers, to avoid liability.

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More from Merriam-Webster on simulation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with simulation

Spanish Central: Translation of simulation

Nglish: Translation of simulation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of simulation for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about simulation

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to enclose within walls

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