Definition of imitative in English:



  • 1Copying or following a model or example.

    ‘the derring-do of our film heroes inspired us to imitative feats’
    • ‘One of the most surprising things I noticed was how imitative I was.’
    • ‘In music terms, at least in the pop area, this blanking experience doesn't really exist, because the nature of the medium is imitative and there is always something out there to imitate.’
    • ‘Consequently, the move toward organised generic, class and therapeutic substitution is a signal that imitative R and D will be less rewarding in the future.’
    • ‘It is to be propitiated rather than harnessed: young couples make love in the newly ploughed furrows at seedtime as imitative magic to guarantee fertility.’
    • ‘Moreover, they are in every respect exemplary - i.e. they are projected as an imitative model for the viewing subject.’
    • ‘Like emulation learning, ontogenetic ritualization does not require individuals to analyze the behavior of others in terms of ends and means in the same way as does imitative learning.’
    • ‘His presentation of history from the perspective of the ‘camera eye,’ particularly, might best be understood as an attempt to evade the undertow of imitative psychology.’
    • ‘There has been no attempt to separate imitative learning by children from other social influences that are known to affect learning, although it is clear that even very young children are capable of imitating.’
    • ‘He has been concerned with theatre which is both local and fun and not imitative of either imported intellectual or theatrical forms.’
    • ‘The second movement is a sort of imitative canzona, which really shows this piece as a sort of bow to the past in many ways.’
    • ‘This creates an inbuilt majority of ‘violent’ games showing up when children play in an imitative style.’
    • ‘Secondly, with an imitative strategy there is no need to spend a lot on advertising to educate buyers about product features: you need only to show the new features added.’
    • ‘You can imitate it, but that would be sort of… imitative.’
    • ‘This craze has had a lot of publicity but that carries the risk of even more imitative crimes.’
    • ‘Each year, for example, imitative Miskitu crowns, scepters, and swords appear as part of a celebratory re-enactment called the kingpulanka.’
    • ‘All available evidence suggests that ontogenetic ritualization, not imitative learning, is responsible for chimpanzees' acquisition of communicative gestures.’
    • ‘I thought at first, when we looked at this sequence, that we've got something here that was imitative, that it was perhaps unfair.’
    • ‘Inherited imitative behavior is hard to demonstrate.’
    • ‘If the patient is aphasic and is unable to follow commands, the physician should have the patient attempt imitative responses.’
    • ‘Over the centuries the makers of delftware have copied all sorts of decorative styles so that this essentially imitative craft has become a style in itself.’
    similar, like
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    1. 1.1 Following a model or example without any attempt at originality.
      ‘I found the film pretentious and imitative’
      • ‘It's beautiful for as long as he's struggling, which is about two minutes before he gets a grip and retreats to a safe distance, and the band churns out boring, imitative crud for the remaining 70 minutes.’
      • ‘Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style.’
      • ‘These told me that Lichtenstein's style defined his approach - he made it his own; it wasn't an affectation, a mere imitative device or clever trick.’
      • ‘In our art world, there are enough examples of art that are imitative.’
      • ‘All art, all thought (for as Clausewitz himself expressed it, all thought is art), was a creative activity, not an imitative or derivative one.’
      • ‘When adopting the new too, he has refrained from being imitative or pretentious.’
      • ‘Though uneven and a bit inchoate, it shows an awareness both of the more complex, radical aspects of Debussy and the Strauss of Salome and Elektra, without being slavishly imitative of either.’
      • ‘And with that simple revelation somehow all art was transformed from the imitative and derivative to the wholly substantive.’
      • ‘His films are emulative, not imitative or derivative.’
      • ‘Barring the work of a few painters, most of the modern art in this country is blatantly imitative, but we still have a problem awarding crafts the recognition given to the arts.’
      • ‘‘I was being literally imitative and derivative’.’
      • ‘In many cases this obscurity is well-deserved; many early works are mediocre, naïvely imitative stuff, unworthy to stand in the canon with Seymour, Walcott, Selvon, Naipaul or Lamming.’
      • ‘I can remember lying on the floor and writing these, probably very poor, poems - because they were all in rhyme and form and probably quite imitative - but they gave me enormous joy, and I worked on them, I crossed bits out and worked on them.’
      • ‘Failing any evidence to the contrary, it can be assumed that this parallelism was not imitative, and that the Alice books came into existence through the same need for a healing of the spirit.’
      • ‘There are all the palely imitative books of quests, holy violence and silly names, for a start; then there are the hundreds of computer games, the sword-waggling role-players, and the couple of film adaptations.’
      • ‘Television being an imitative rather than innovative business, networks tend to follow a trend until they run it into the ground, he said.’
      • ‘But here, even his imitative music is somehow distinctive.’
      • ‘His architecture is a result of his subtle imitative skills rather than originality, solving problems by picking and choosing from existing schools.’
      • ‘They are not hackneyed imitative replicas of the original versions.’
      • ‘That is why the hip-hop in this country has been imitative, lacking creativity and sterile.’
      derivative, unoriginal, uninventive, non-innovative, unimaginative, uninspired, plagiarized, plagiaristic, copied, second-hand, rehashed, warmed-up
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  • 2(of a word) reproducing a natural sound (e.g. fizz) or pronounced in a way that is thought to correspond to the appearance or character of the object or action described (e.g. blob).

    • ‘The derivation of the word ‘quail’ has been charmingly explored by Francesca Greenoak who points out that it is an imitative name, cognate with ‘quack’.’
    • ‘The number of imitative words in any language is bound to be quite small, and for many such words the sound-meaning relation is by no means direct.’
    onomatopoeic, echoic
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