1550s, from L. æmulationem, from æmulari "to rival, strive to excel," from æmulus "striving, rivaling," from PIE *aim-olo, from base *aim- "copy." Related to L. imitari "imitate," and to L. imago "image."
architecture When one system performs in exactly the same way as another, though perhaps not at the same speed. A typical example would be emulation of one computer by (a program running on) another. You might use an emulation as a replacement for a system whereas you would use a simulation if you just wanted to analyse it and make predictions about it. (2003-05-22)