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imitate

[im-i-teyt] /ˈɪm ɪˌteɪt/
verb (used with object), imitated, imitating.
1.
to follow or endeavor to follow as a model or example:
to imitate an author's style; to imitate an older brother.
2.
to mimic; impersonate:
The students imitated the teacher behind her back.
3.
to make a copy of; reproduce closely.
4.
to have or assume the appearance of; simulate; resemble.
Origin of imitate
1525-1535
1525-35; < Latin imitātus past participle of imitārī to copy, presumably a frequentative akin to the base of imāgō image
Related forms
imitator, noun
nonimitating, adjective
overimitate, verb (used with object), overimitated, overimitating.
preimitate, verb (used with object), preimitated, preimitating.
unimitated, adjective
unimitating, adjective
well-imitated, adjective
Synonyms
2. ape, mock. 3. Imitate, copy, duplicate, reproduce all mean to follow or try to follow an example or pattern. Imitate is the general word for the idea: to imitate someone's handwriting, behavior. To copy is to make a fairly exact imitation of an original creation: to copy a sentence, a dress, a picture. To duplicate is to produce something that exactly resembles or corresponds to something else; both may be originals: to duplicate the terms of two contracts. To reproduce is to make a likeness or reconstruction of an original: to reproduce a 16th-century theater.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for imitator
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Lista was a skilful artist and like Arjona an admirer and imitator of Horace; but his ideas lacked depth.

  • Once more, the imitator has no knowledge of reality, but only of appearance.

    The Republic Plato
  • Here is another point: The imitator or maker of the image knows nothing of true existence; he knows appearances only.

    The Republic Plato
  • Suppose now that by the light of the examples just offered we enquire who this imitator is?

    The Republic Plato
  • That with the ermine robes is supposed to have been studied by Raffaelle Morghen, called sometimes an imitator of Strange.

  • Good, I said; then you call him who is third in the descent from nature an imitator?

    The Republic Plato
  • The dog is the humble friend, follower, imitator, and slave of man.

    Ways of Nature John Burroughs
  • It is demonstrable, however, that the Scotchman could not have been the imitator.

British Dictionary definitions for imitator

imitate

/ˈɪmɪˌteɪt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to try to follow the manner, style, character, etc, of or take as a model: many writers imitated the language of Shakespeare
2.
to pretend to be or to impersonate, esp for humour; mimic
3.
to make a copy or reproduction of; duplicate; counterfeit
4.
to make or be like; resemble or simulate: her achievements in politics imitated her earlier successes in business
Derived Forms
imitable, adjective
imitability, imitableness, noun
imitator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin imitārī; see image
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 imitator
n.

1520s; see imitate + -or. Perhaps from French imitateur (14c.).

imitate

v.

1530s, a back-formation from imitation or imitator, or else from Latin imitatus. Related: Imitated; imitating. An Old English word for this was æfterhyrigan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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