Synonym Chooser

How does the verb simulate contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of simulate are affect, assume, counterfeit, feign, pretend, and sham. While all these words mean "to put on a false or deceptive appearance," simulate suggests a close imitation of the appearance of something.

cosmetics that simulate a suntan

When can affect be used instead of simulate?

In some situations, the words affect and simulate are roughly equivalent. However, affect implies making a false show of possessing, using, or feeling.

affected an interest in art

When would assume be a good substitute for simulate?

Although the words assume and simulate have much in common, assume often implies a justifiable motive rather than an intent to deceive.

assumed an air of cheerfulness around the patients

Where would counterfeit be a reasonable alternative to simulate?

The words counterfeit and simulate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, counterfeit implies achieving the highest degree of verisimilitude of any of these words.

an actor counterfeiting drunkenness

How is feign related to other words for simulate?

Feign implies more artful invention than pretend, less specific mimicry than simulate.

feigned sickness

When is pretend a more appropriate choice than simulate?

The synonyms pretend and simulate are sometimes interchangeable, but pretend implies an overt and sustained false appearance.

pretended that nothing had happened

When is it sensible to use sham instead of simulate?

The meanings of sham and simulate largely overlap; however, sham implies an obvious falseness that fools only the gullible.

shammed a most unconvincing limp

Thesaurus Entries Near simulate

Cite this Entry

“Simulate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on simulate

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