ape 1 of 3

as in to imitate
to use (someone or something) as the model for one's speech, mannerisms, or behavior was caught aping the substitute teacher's thick accent

Synonyms & Similar Words



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Synonym Chooser

How is the word ape distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of ape are copy, imitate, mimic, and mock. While all these words mean "to make something so that it resembles an existing thing," ape may suggest presumptuous, slavish, or inept imitating of a superior original.

American fashion designers aped their European colleagues

When is it sensible to use copy instead of ape?

The words copy and ape can be used in similar contexts, but copy suggests duplicating an original as nearly as possible.

copied the painting and sold the fake as an original

Where would imitate be a reasonable alternative to ape?

Although the words imitate and ape have much in common, imitate suggests following a model or a pattern but may allow for some variation.

imitate a poet's style

When might mimic be a better fit than ape?

The words mimic and ape are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, mimic implies a close copying (as of voice or mannerism) often for fun, ridicule, or lifelike imitation.

pupils mimicking their teacher

When could mock be used to replace ape?

While the synonyms mock and ape are close in meaning, mock usually implies imitation with derision.

mocking a vain man's pompous manner

Thesaurus Entries Near ape

Cite this Entry

“Ape.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ape. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

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