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[v. em-yuh-leyt; adj. em-yuh-lit] /v. ˈɛm yəˌleɪt; adj. ˈɛm yə lɪt/
verb (used with object), emulated, emulating.
to try to equal or excel; imitate with effort to equal or surpass:
to emulate one's father as a concert violinist.
to rival with some degree of success:
Some smaller cities now emulate the major capitals in their cultural offerings.
  1. to imitate (a particular computer system) by using a software system, often including a microprogram or another computer that enables it to do the same work, run the same programs, etc., as the first.
  2. to replace (software) with hardware to perform the same task.
Obsolete, emulous.
Origin of emulate
1580-90; < Latin aemulātus, past participle of aemulārī to rival. See emulous, -ate1
Related forms
emulative, adjective
emulatively, adverb
emulator, noun
nonemulative, adjective
overemulate, verb (used with object), overemulated, overemulating.
unemulative, adjective
Can be confused
emulate, immolate.
1. follow, copy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for emulate
  • Her timeless aesthetic is easy to emulate.
  • Go through it and decide what looks good to you, and then try to emulate that look.
  • Sons often emulate their fathers.
  • They need experienced players for the newbies to emulate.
  • We need to use care in selecting the people who we want to emulate.
  • Some of the writers tried to emulate explorers of the past.
  • I've tried to emulate his zeal for operational excellence in the restaurant business as well as his emphasis on character.
  • He implored the students not to emulate his own academic and behavioral missteps.
  • The carriages recently were completely refurbished to emulate the original features, but modern amenities have been added.
  • Conditions during the collision emulate those present a few microseconds into the big bang.
British Dictionary definitions for emulate


verb (transitive)
to attempt to equal or surpass, esp by imitation
to rival or compete with
to make one computer behave like (another different type of computer) so that the imitating system can operate on the same data and execute the same programs as the imitated system
Derived Forms
emulative, adjective
emulatively, adverb
emulator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin aemulārī, from aemulus competing with; probably related to imitārī to imitate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for emulate

1580s, back-formation from emulation, or else from Latin aemulatus, past participle of aemulari "to rival." Related: Emulated; emulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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