sim·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌsim-yə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce simulation (audio) \

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

Of course, those are just computer simulations — no one can predict the future. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: Five reasons why the Niners will miss the playoffs this year," 5 Sep. 2019 Before the World Bank issued its bonds, consultants ran a computer simulation of half a million outbreaks of filoviruses (a group of viruses that includes Ebola). The Economist, "The World Bank’s pandemic bonds are not paying out for Ebola," 29 Aug. 2019 Their simulations indicated that if a cell got too big, more than two protein domains would emerge, leading to loss of polarity. Quanta Magazine, "For Embryo’s Cells, Size Can Determine Fate," 12 Aug. 2019 Both teams are excellent at third base; Chapman and Nolan Arenado made some nice plays in our simulation. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Simulated All-Star Game: Matt Chapman propels American League to walk-off win," 9 July 2019 In your simulation each roll of the dice will correspond to taking one dose of antibiotics. Svenja Lohner, Scientific American, "How Do You Stop Superbugs?," 4 July 2019 Across the country, in spare hotel conference rooms and bustling campaign offices, many of the 20 Democrats who will debate Wednesday and Thursday have spent long hours holding their own debate simulations and rapid-fire policy drills. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Stand-Ins, Push-Ups, Long Drives: How the 2020 Candidates Are Preparing for the Debates," 24 June 2019 Before computer simulations did the trick, engineers built miniature models with photoelastic materials, subjected them to forces and observed the stress colorscape. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "What Science Says About Why You're Stressed and How to Cope," 21 June 2019 Amazon could use its simulations beyond training Scout’s vision systems. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "How Amazon Cloned a Neighborhood to Test Its Delivery Robots," 14 June 2019

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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Statistics for simulation

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for simulation

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

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More Definitions for simulation



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 How to pronounce simulation (audio) \

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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Comments on simulation

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


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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