mimic

1 of 3

noun

mim·​ic ˈmi-mik How to pronounce mimic (audio)
1
: mime sense 2
She's a talented mimic.
2
: one that mimics

mimic

2 of 3

adjective

1
a
b
: imitation, mock
a mimic battle
2
: of or relating to mime or mimicry

mimic

3 of 3

verb

mimicked ˈmi-mikt How to pronounce mimic (audio) ; mimicking

transitive verb

1
: to imitate closely : ape
He mimicked her accent.
2
: to ridicule by imitation
The comic mimicked the president's mannerisms.
3
: simulate
vegetable dishes that mimic meatCarolone Bates
4
: to resemble by biological mimicry
a butterfly that mimics a leaf
Choose the Right Synonym for mimic

copy, imitate, mimic, ape, mock mean to make something so that it resembles an existing thing.

copy suggests duplicating an original as nearly as possible.

copied the painting and sold the fake as an original

imitate suggests following a model or a pattern but may allow for some variation.

imitate a poet's style

mimic implies a close copying (as of voice or mannerism) often for fun, ridicule, or lifelike imitation.

pupils mimicking their teacher

ape may suggest presumptuous, unoriginal, or inept imitating of a superior original.

American fashion designers aped their European colleagues

mock usually implies imitation with derision.

mocking a vain man's pompous manner

Examples of mimic in a Sentence

Noun a gifted mimic who can do a terrific imitation of anyone's voice a mimic in black clothes and white facial makeup Adjective police were concerned that the mimic gun, although intended only as a toy, might be confused with the real thing in certain situations a mimic battle fought by kids playing around in the schoolyard Verb The lamp mimics natural sunlight. a butterfly that mimics a leaf See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
While our Janis, Damien and Regina pop off the screen, the other characters are either bizarre mimics of their original counterparts or completely new takes. Katie Walsh, Twin Cities, 11 Jan. 2024 Or Dylan, who looks out of sorts and a bit nervous throughout, having no idea how to sing his solo line, and getting help from Stevie Wonder, who was a great mimic and literally sings it for him as Bob Dylan would; and that’s how Dylan sang it. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 29 Jan. 2024 Lowering costs associated with generative AI technology capable of creating somewhat convincing mimics of celebrities’ voices can make these scams even more convincing. Popular Science, 10 Jan. 2024 Further study is needed to tease out exactly what makes for a successful poo mimic—perhaps there’s a maximum size for a convincing simulated splat or an ideal ratio of white spots to background color. Elizabeth Anne Brown, Scientific American, 13 Dec. 2023 The pharmacological mimics of GLP-1 can also have these effects in the body. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 18 Sep. 2023 This has led to the development of chemical mimics of GLP-1, like semaglutide. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 18 Sep. 2023 The situation is so dire that one startup has created mimics of the mRNA vaccines in use to help researchers improve their formulations. Byjon Cohen, science.org, 30 May 2023 The result is essentially a two-tier business model where lonely guys looking for a 3 a.m. chat session can talk with Marjorie’s machine mimic, while die-hard fans willing to shell out a bit more can pay for the genuine article. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2023
Adjective
Or a cautionary tale, a mimic man whom Western letters seduced, then rejected and disgraced? Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2023 Humans find visual solace in patterns, after all: our brains are hardwired to detect them, especially those that mimic ones found in nature. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 8 Nov. 2023 The rise of generative AI has created tools that more closely mimic patient care. Pranshu Verma, Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2023 And instead of conducting an underwater band, Sebastian (played by Daveed Diggs) now kicks off a massive dance party, complete with toe-tapping sea turtles, spinning mimic octopuses, waving flatworms and ascending luminescent jellyfish. Ashley Lee, Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2023 Instead of masquerading as a dangerous creature, an aggressive mimic poses as one that’s benign. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 27 Mar. 2023 ChatGPT was unveiled to the public in November and was quickly taken up by millions of users impressed with its ability to clearly answer difficult questions, mimic writing styles, write sonnets and papers and even pass exams. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 2 Apr. 2023 Lead can get into the brain, mimic calcium in these calcium-binding domains and cause aberrant protein activity as a result. IEEE Spectrum, 16 Nov. 2021 So these drugs in a sense mimic, at least to some degree, an eating disorder. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 2023
Verb
These chatbots are programmed to mimic human behavior and can make posts, leave comments and engage with users while impersonating real accounts. Elijah Clark, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 This green mimics the color of copper after it is exposed to air and seawater and is a tribute to Charleston’s coastal and Caribbean influence. Zoe Gowen, Southern Living, 23 Feb. 2024 The policy mimics regulations from the 2003 prison rape elimination law requiring transgender or intersex inmates to be assigned to a facility on a case-by-case basis by considering the inmate’s health and safety, along with any potential management or security problems. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 22 Feb. 2024 Making music, once the very definition of artistic collaboration, now more often than not occurs in isolation with a vast library of plug-ins designed to mimic the sounds of various recording studios. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, 20 Feb. 2024 An ad supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s now-defunct campaign for Republican presidential nominee used an AI audio generator to mimic the voice of former president Donald Trump. Will Oremus, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 Mirroring, mimicking and doubling are everywhere these days. Aatish Taseer, New York Times, 12 Feb. 2024 Huge incumbents can mimic your ideas and maybe beat you at your own game. Jeff Kauflin, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 This 100 percent cotton shirt visually mimics Lively’s button-down and is under $40. Kayla Blanton, Peoplemag, 11 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mimic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Noun, and Verb

Latin mimicus, from Greek mimikos, from mimos mime

First Known Use

Noun

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1671, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mimic was in 1596

Dictionary Entries Near mimic

Cite this Entry

“Mimic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mimic. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

mimic

1 of 3 noun
mim·​ic ˈmim-ik How to pronounce mimic (audio)
1
2
: one that mimics

mimic

2 of 3 adjective

mimic

3 of 3 verb
mimicked ˈmim-ikt How to pronounce mimic (audio) ; mimicking
1
: to imitate closely
2
: to make fun of by imitating
3
: to resemble by biological mimicry
an insect that mimics a leaf

Medical Definition

mimic

1 of 2 noun
mim·​ic ˈmim-ik How to pronounce mimic (audio)
: one that mimics
a mimic of a naturally occurring hormone

mimic

2 of 2 transitive verb
mimicked -ikt How to pronounce mimic (audio) ; mimicking
: to imitate or resemble closely: as
a
: to imitate the symptoms of
an acute inflammatory process located in the ileocecal region mimics acute appendicitisMerck Manual
b
: to produce an effect and especially a physiological effect similar to
chemically unrelated to the hormone that it mimicsChemical & Engineering News

More from Merriam-Webster on mimic

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