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[sim-yuh-ley-kruh m] /ˌsɪm yəˈleɪ krəm/
noun, plural simulacra
[sim-yuh-ley-kruh] /ˌsɪm yəˈleɪ krə/ (Show IPA)
a slight, unreal, or superficial likeness or semblance.
an effigy, image, or representation:
a simulacrum of Aphrodite.
1590-1600; < Latin simulācrum likeness, image, equivalent to simulā(re) to simulate + -crum instrumental suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for simulacrum
  • The result is a strange simulacrum of dramatic complexity, a work of superficial depth.
  • We've made a sort of grotesque doll, a simulacrum of a friend, to play with to replace our withered connection with other humans.
  • They provide an imperfect simulacrum of the surface of things.
  • As they drove to the museum, the writer was able to generate a mental simulacrum of its smell.
  • The experience, with the metabolic changes it sets off, is a simulacrum of dying.
  • But she also spends a long part of the film in a strenuous simulacrum of pleasure.
British Dictionary definitions for simulacrum


noun (archaic) (pl) -cra (-krə)
any image or representation of something
a slight, unreal, or vague semblance of something; superficial likeness
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: likeness, from simulāre to imitate, from similis like
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 simulacrum

1590s, from Latin simulacrum "likeness, image, form, representation, portrait," dissimilated from *simulaclom, from simulare "to make like, imitate, copy, represent" (see simulation). The word was borrowed earlier as semulacre (late 14c.), via Old French simulacre.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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