What does imitate mean?

Definitions for imitate
ˈɪm ɪˌteɪtim·i·tate

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word imitate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. imitate, copy, simulateverb

    reproduce someone's behavior or looks

    "The mime imitated the passers-by"; "Children often copy their parents or older siblings"

  2. imitateverb

    appear like, as in behavior or appearance

    "Life imitate art"

  3. imitateverb

    make a reproduction or copy of


  1. imitateverb

    To follow as a model or a pattern; to make a copy, counterpart or semblance of.

  2. imitateverb

    To copy.

  3. Etymology: From imitatus, past participle of imitari, from a deponent frequentive root *, whence also imago, see image.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Imitateverb

    Etymology: imitor, Latin; imiter, French.

    We imitate and practise to make swifter motions than any out of your muskets. Francis Bacon.

    Despise wealth, and imitate a god. Abraham Cowley.

    I would caress some stableman of note,
    And imitate his language and his coat. Man of Taste.

    This hand appear'd a shining sword to wield,
    And that sustain'd an imitated shield. John Dryden, Æn.

    For shame! what, imitate an ode! John Gay.


  1. imitate

    Imitate means to replicate or reproduce someone's behavior, appearance, or actions, often in order to learn from them or to entertain others. It involves copying or mimicking the exact traits or characteristics of the subject being imitated.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Imitateverb

    to follow as a pattern, model, or example; to copy or strive to copy, in acts, manners etc

  2. Imitateverb

    to produce a semblance or likeness of, in form, character, color, qualities, conduct, manners, and the like; to counterfeit; to copy

  3. Imitateverb

    to resemble (another species of animal, or a plant, or inanimate object) in form, color, ornamentation, or instinctive habits, so as to derive an advantage thereby; sa, when a harmless snake imitates a venomous one in color and manner, or when an odorless insect imitates, in color, one having secretion offensive to birds

  4. Etymology: [L. imitatus, p. p. of imitari to imitate; of unknown origin. Cf. Image.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Imitate

    im′i-tāt, v.t. to copy, to strive to be the same as: to produce a likeness of.—n. Imitabil′ity.—adj. Im′itable, that may be imitated or copied: worthy of imitation.—n. Im′itancy, the tendency to imitate.—adj. Im′itant.—n. Imitā′tion, act of imitating: that which is produced as a copy, a likeness: (mus.) the repeating of the same passage, or the following of a passage with a similar one in one or more of the other parts or voices.—adj. Im′itātive, inclined to imitate: formed after a model.—adv. Im′itātively.—ns. Im′itātiveness, the quality of being imitative; Im′itātor, one who imitates or copies. [L. imitāri, imitātus, ety. unknown.]

Matched Categories

How to pronounce imitate?

How to say imitate in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of imitate in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of imitate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of imitate in a Sentence

  1. Pete Buttigieg:

    I think one of the big problems in Democratic politics is an ideology that's organized completely around Republican politics and ideology, and the only way we take somebody's measure is to evaluate how vigorously they oppose or how closely they imitate Republican policies.

  2. Miguel de Cervantes:

    Good painters imitate nature, bad ones spew it up.

  3. Juvenal:

    We are too quick to imitate depraved examples.

  4. James Arthur Baldwin:

    Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.

  5. Brad Bushman:

    It's troubling to me that the perpetrators of the violent acts are the good guys, because that communicates the idea that aggression is justifiable as long as it's committed by a good guy, we are more likely to imitate violence that is by attractive perpetrators who are justified for what they do, so superhero violence is kind of a really good recipe for that.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for imitate

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for imitate »


Find a translation for the imitate definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"imitate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/imitate>.

Discuss these imitate definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for imitate? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    add details, as to an account or idea
    A elaborate
    B abide
    C affront
    D emanate

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for imitate: