emulate

verb
em·​u·​late | \ ˈem-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce emulate (audio) , -yü- \
emulated; emulating

Essential Meaning of emulate

: to try to be like (someone or something you admire) She grew up emulating her sports heroes. artists emulating the style of their teachers

Full Definition of emulate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to strive to equal or excel
b : imitate especially : to imitate by means of an emulator
2 : to equal or approach equality with

emulate

adjective
em·​u·​late | \ ˈem-yə-lət How to pronounce emulate (audio) \

Definition of emulate (Entry 2 of 2)

obsolete
: emulous sense 1b pricked on by a most emulate pride— William Shakespeare

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Verb

If imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, to paraphrase Charles C. Colton (circa 1780-1832), then past speakers of English clearly had a great admiration for the Latin language. The verb emulate joined the ranks of Latin-derived English terms in 1582. It comes from aemulus, a Latin term for rivaling or envious. Two related adjectives - emulate and emulous - appeared around the same time as the verb emulate. Both mean striving to emulate or sometimes jealous, but emulous is rare these days, and the adjective emulate is obsolete. The latter did have a brief moment of glory, however, when Shakespeare used it in Hamlet:

"Our last king,
Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
Dar'd to the combat. . . ."

Examples of emulate in a Sentence

Verb If you are talking to someone younger, do not condescend. If you are talking to someone older, back up feelings with facts and never be in such a rush to make your point that you forget the art of listening. And please, no one try to emulate the histrionic, discursive style of any talking heads you see on television. — William Norwich, Vogue, 9 Sept. 2008 Although some schools are postponing new projects because of the faltering economy, others are forging ahead with plans to emulate freshman programs that have long existed at some of the nation's oldest colleges. — Jeninne Lee-St. John, Time, 27 Oct. 2008 I started out emulating Chandler in that first book, maybe the first book and a half, because I was in my novitiate, and whenever I wasn't clear on what to do I would actively think about Chandler and what Marlow would have done. — Robert B. Parker et al., Colloquium on Crime, 1986 She grew up emulating her sports heroes. artists emulating the style of their teachers
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Thing follows a group of researchers based in Antarctica who discover an extraterrestrial being that can emulate other lifeforms. Sarah Toscano, EW.com, 6 Oct. 2021 Us actor was happy to become the latest celeb for Lowe's House of Curators series, helping select affordable decor that helps fans emulate the look of his California home and beloved Airstream. Karen Mizoguchi, PEOPLE.com, 30 Sep. 2021 Don’t men also realize this is a fake fantasy to indulge in, rather than emulate? Raven Smith, Vogue, 30 Sep. 2021 Newsom consultant Ace Smith said the governor’s handling of the pandemic could be a template for other Democrats to emulate in next year’s midterm races. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 Sep. 2021 Crushed into a fine powder, this mineral yielded a lavish indigo that proved impossible to emulate by chemical means until the eighteenth century, when the Swiss pigmenter Johann Jacob Diesbach discovered Prussian blue. Benjamín Labatut, Harper's Magazine, 28 Sep. 2021 State leaders often hold up Dallas as a district the rest of the state can emulate. Talia Richman, Dallas News, 27 Sep. 2021 The Sound Maker installation consists of thousands of parts, including almost 2,000 thin metal disks provided by Jaeger-LeCoultre that emulate watch mainplates. Roberta Naas, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 Or, wear an all-white outfit and a matching beret to emulate her outfit from the show's dramatic final episode. Julia Marzovilla, Marie Claire, 23 Sep. 2021

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

Verb

1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1602, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for emulate

Verb

borrowed from Latin aemulātus, past participle of aemulārī "to vie with, rival, imitate," derivative of aemulus "rivaling, emulous"

Adjective

borrowed from Latin aemulātus — more at emulate entry 1

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Time Traveler for emulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of emulate was in 1582

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Dictionary Entries Near emulate

emu bush

emulate

emulation

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Statistics for emulate

Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Emulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emulate. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for emulate

emulate

verb
em·​u·​late | \ ˈem-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce emulate (audio) \
emulated; emulating

Kids Definition of emulate

: to try hard to be like or do better than : imitate She grew up emulating her sports heroes.

More from Merriam-Webster on emulate

Nglish: Translation of emulate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of emulate for Arabic Speakers

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