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[im-pos-ter] /ɪmˈpɒs tər/
a person who practices deception under an assumed character, identity, or name.
Also, imposter.
Origin of impostor
1580-90; < Late Latin, equivalent to Latin impos(i)-, variant stem of impōnere to deceive, place on (see impone) + -tor -tor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for impostor
  • Some may be suffering from the impostor syndrome at the beginning, not knowing if they fully belong to this community.
  • The bad feelings are displaced to a double, who is an impostor and may safely be rejected.
  • Once allowed access by the homeowner, the impostor sought cash for payment of a past due bill or for performing a service.
  • Sometimes distinguishing the real thing from an impostor takes a lot of expertise and know-how.
British Dictionary definitions for impostor


a person who deceives others, esp by assuming a false identity; charlatan
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin: deceiver; see impose
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 impostor

1580s, from Middle French imposteur (16c.), from Late Latin impostor, agent noun from impostus, collateral form of impositus, past participle of imponere "place upon, impose upon, deceive," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + ponere "to put place" (see position).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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