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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
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. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for preimitate

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
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Word Origin and History for preimitate

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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