Word of the Day Archive
Thursday May 1, 2003
simulacrum \sim-yuh-LAY-kruhm; -LAK-ruhm\ , noun;
plural simulacra \sim-yuh-LAY-kruh; -LAK-ruh\:
1. An image; a representation.
2. An insubstantial, superficial, or vague likeness or semblance.
Incorporating simulacra of historic buildings and exotic landscapes the Emperor saw on his extensive travels through his dominions, the villa is high-style multiculturalism.
-- Martin Filler, New York Times, December 3, 1995
It becomes harder . . . to distinguish the genuine from its simulacrum.
-- Wayne Curtis, "The Tiki Wars", The Atlantic, February 2001
The Wilson who at last recovered some of his health was a pale simulacrum of the man he had been.
-- Louis Auchincloss, Woodrow Wilson
His radiator pipe and fire hose, for example, are like washed out ghosts of real things, waxen simulacra of themselves.
-- Harvey Blume, "Bits of Beauty", The Atlantic, June 3, 1999
Simulacrum is from the Latin, from simulare, "to make like, to put on an appearance of," from similis, "like." It is related to simulate and similar.