Definition of imitate in English:



  • 1 Take or follow as a model.

    ‘his style was imitated by many other writers’
    • ‘The Chicago model was imitated or at least adapted elsewhere.’
    • ‘Oddly, there's a sense that some current contenders are simply slavishly imitating their post-punk forebears.’
    • ‘Are the arts condemned, in short, whatever fertility one attributes to their techniques, to the eternal monotony of imitating the first models?’
    • ‘So why not imitate nature to extract renewable energy without harming the environment?’
    • ‘The company is providing a business model widely imitated by other corporations, especially its competitors.’
    • ‘The styles and ideas of the previous century were imitated by many artists of lesser quality.’
    • ‘For children are what we make them, and however much we lecture them they'll imitate a role model of their choice, be it a favourite sports personality, pop artist, TV soap star, or film actor.’
    • ‘In other words, art is simply imitating life and by analyzing pop culture we get a bearing on society.’
    • ‘I was kind of angry, but also proud that my work had been imitated so closely.’
    • ‘Many techniques that imitate nature - collectively known as biomimetic technologies - are prohibitively expensive.’
    • ‘They are submerged in American culture, singing American pop songs and imitating cultural behaviors.’
    • ‘The dynamics used in the Pixies' sounds have been imitated widely in present-day rock music.’
    • ‘A class of urbanized government officials and professionals developed that often imitated styles of the earlier aristocracy.’
    • ‘While Pop Art only lasted a few years, it continues to be imitated by artists and designers.’
    • ‘Although he could not read music, he had a keen ear and often imitated the styles of other musicians.’
    • ‘And also, importantly, that it does not merely imitate existing models, but itself becomes the example that all others will follow.’
    • ‘However, Carter never merely imitated, and he produced work of very high finish.’
    • ‘While handing over the charter to the President, the students were conscious of the fact that the youth imitated their role models in films and therefore sensitising film actors and directors was the most apt thing to do.’
    • ‘If children were to learn the right attitudes, they ought to start right from a very young age, with older people functioning as role models to be imitated.’
    emulate, copy, take as a model, model oneself on, take as a pattern, pattern oneself after, pattern oneself on, follow the example of, take as an example, take as a role model, take after, follow, follow in someone's footsteps, follow in someone's steps
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    1. 1.1Copy (a person's speech or mannerisms), especially for comic effect.
      ‘she imitated my Scots accent’
      • ‘Since her very early childhood, she has been addicted to elocution, imitating the voices and expressions of other people.’
      • ‘Zoe carefully imitated what Brian had done and began climbing down the other side.’
      • ‘When he graduates with a BA, he's already talking like a doctor, imitates doctors' mannerisms, and has developed a bedside manner - all before he even gets to medical school.’
      • ‘That is, motivated by prestige and upward mobility, lower class women try to imitate the speech of the upper class but miss the target and end up with affrication rather than frication.’
      • ‘To imitate the musical speech of children, Mahler uses a pentatonic interspersed melodic.’
      • ‘When Jen talks to the Mail Girl, she can't resist imitating her British accent.’
      • ‘When recalling the conversation, she imitates his voice with a slow, rocking-chair-like southern accent.’
      • ‘With younger students, rubato is taught through modeling (students imitating the teacher's timing) and playing teacher-student duets.’
      • ‘There is nothing wrong in imitating mannerisms found in every human being.’
      • ‘As children witness these behaviors, they sometimes imitate what they have experienced or observed.’
      • ‘The way I speak is normal to me, but I will attempt to imitate your speech.’
      • ‘With the presenter's help, Lipan imitated the gestures and the speech of a psychic but did it with a lot of sarcasm.’
      • ‘He would imitate Cameron's mannerisms and everything.’
      • ‘The mere simplicity of the film is appealing, and some of the awkward, unsteady dialogue seems to imitate the conversations that can be found in real life coffee shops.’
      • ‘He had grown fairly adept at imitating Jimjim's clipped speech.’
      • ‘In his defence, he claimed that he was merely imitating the film's hero.’
      • ‘He spoke slowly and clearly in his Elneside dialect, instead of imitating the speech of the easterners as he often did now in order to be easily understood.’
      • ‘Most of their affectionate banter borders on the painful humiliating putdown, with Jamie loving to imitate Paul's manic mannerisms behind his back.’
      • ‘Timmy then promptly began imitating a blonde model, screaming and fluttering his eyelashes.’
      • ‘In contrast to common chimps, at six months of age Kanzi engaged in much vocal babbling and seemed to be trying to imitate human speech.’
      mimic, do an impression of, impersonate, ape
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    2. 1.2Copy or simulate.
      ‘synthetic fabrics can now imitate everything from silk to rubber’
      • ‘But some simulations imitate real people and economies more closely than others, just as some physics models produce more authentic collisions.’
      • ‘At its most basic, a paramilitary group was structured to resemble or imitate a command or military organization.’
      • ‘Bed rest can closely imitate some of the detrimental effects of weightlessness on the body.’
      • ‘Art that merely imitated nature - portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and genre scenes - was secondary.’
      • ‘However, mountain chalets (country houses) built by city-dwellers as vacation homes often imitate the older rural styles.’
      • ‘They learn from doing, from a simulated experience that very closely imitates real life scenarios.’
      • ‘Simulation is an analytical method designed to imitate a real-life system.’
      • ‘For example, simulations can be used to imitate a specific market situation.’
      • ‘The resulting sound is not unlike that of an organ, and different settings imitate different registrations while a reverberation unit can simulate different acoustic conditions.’
      resemble, look like, be like, simulate
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Mid 16th century: from Latin imitat- copied, from the verb imitari; related to imago image.