Denotation vs. Connotation


[im-i-tey-tiv] /ˈɪm ɪˌteɪ tɪv/
imitating; copying; given to imitation.
of, relating to, or characterized by imitation.
Biology, mimetic.
made in imitation of something; counterfeit.
Origin of imitative
1575-85; < Late Latin imitātīvus. See imitate, -ive
Related forms
imitatively, adverb
imitativeness, noun
nonimitative, adjective
nonimitatively, adverb
nonimitativeness, noun
overimitative, adjective
overimitatively, adverb
overimitativeness, noun
preimitative, adjective
unimitative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for imitative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When some influential critic snarls, all the imitative inferior critics take the same tone.

  • True to her imitative instincts, Audrey could be frank with the frank.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • I, obeying the imitative instinct that is so strong in childhood, tried to regulate my life in conformity with his.

  • And still more unsuited is sculpture, the most imitative and objective of all the arts.

  • The maze of tangled languages and religions upon his map proved too complicated for our imitative abilities.

  • The only predominant characteristic that we know is their imitative power.

    The Arena Various
  • Man is an imitative creature, however, and what one carpenter has, the others copy.

    Carpentry and Woodwork Edwin W. Foster
  • Besides this there are many forms of animal play which are not imitative at all.

    The Story of the Mind James Mark Baldwin
  • Yet this imitative faculty inherent to blacks, does not go so far as to endow them with any artistic talents.

    The Human Race Louis Figuier
British Dictionary definitions for imitative


imitating or tending to imitate or copy
characterized by imitation
copying or reproducing the features of an original, esp in an inferior manner: imitative painting
another word for onomatopoeic
Derived Forms
imitatively, adverb
imitativeness, noun
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 imitative

1580s, probably from imitate + -ive; or else from Middle French imitatif, from Late Latin imitativus, from imitat-, stem of imitari.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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