Definition of mimic in English:

mimic

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Imitate (someone or their actions or words), especially in order to entertain or ridicule.

    ‘she mimicked Eileen's pedantic voice’
    • ‘Ustinov was performing at the age of three, mimicking politicians of the day when his parents invited Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie for dinner.’
    • ‘You can get ideas for some cool moves without totally mimicking someone.’
    • ‘Hundreds of Elvis impersonators mimic the late King's suggestive pelvic thrust and wear the now-iconic blue suede shoes.’
    • ‘Shatrughan Sinha had heard for several months that some guy called Johnny Lever mimics him in stage shows.’
    • ‘He started mimicking someone using a machine gun.’
    • ‘Since I appeared on the A.B.C. my 8 year old grandson Joshua has started mimicking me, I think it's great!’
    • ‘Also appearing is Jeremy London, the '90s teen heartthrob with a bad accent mimicking the guests of Jerry Springer.’
    • ‘He began to laugh, and then raised his voice about an octave higher to mimic my mom.’
    • ‘His stunt mimics magician David Blaine's attempt to survive 72 days in a glass box above London but Michael decided he would use the idea to raise cash for charity.’
    • ‘I found myself mimicking her sobbing-plus-laughing routine in the auditorium.’
    • ‘Angie, Kasie, Nate and I all make a game of trying to mimic someone else's voice and hoping Dad does not recognize us.’
    • ‘When he was a kid he loved mimicking people which had us in stitches.’
    • ‘I've just mimicked him all my life, so he was a herpetologist, one who studies reptiles…’
    • ‘‘He mimics me and my style,’ Jayaram says about his son, just like what I used to do in my childhood.’
    • ‘There was also some more material when we see Sellers mimicking other people, like the director Blake Edwards or his mother, Peg.’
    • ‘Lambert doesn't believe in mimicking real-life characters he plays.’
    • ‘His first disc, while enjoyable, mimicked his late father's style but not the muscle, majesty and political bite.’
    • ‘Mary screams in horror and the girls mimic her every word.’
    • ‘It sounded like they had just heard this kid crying and they were kind of laughing at what had happened, mimicking him.’
    • ‘Born in Lancashire, Jon realised his talent for impersonations as a child - mimicking the teachers at school!’
    imitate, copy, impersonate, do an impression of, take off, do an impersonation of, do, ape, caricature, mock, make fun of, parody, satirize, lampoon, burlesque, travesty
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    1. 1.1 (of an animal or plant) resemble or imitate (another animal or plant) to deter predators or for camouflage.
      ‘wild potatoes mimic an aphid alarm signal’
      ‘tiger beetles are mimicked by grasshoppers’
      • ‘Flower extract and mandibular gland secretion both contained geraniol, nerol, and E, E-farnesol, indicating that the orchid mimics the bee's secretion.’
      • ‘The supposedly sterile farm fish would mimic spawners, and pair up with fertile wildies, negating that year's reproductive cycle.’
      • ‘It mimics birds, bats or pterodactyls of the dinosaur era, and has membranous wings.’
      • ‘The ruse works so successfully that some 30 other non-venomous snakes have mimicked the coral snake and share similar color patterns.’
      • ‘There is no denying that they are manipulative - they are famous for their ability to mimic moths, wasps and bees to cheat insects into having sex with them.’
      • ‘The mimic finally stumbled upon a vacant hole and squeezed inside; in a last ditch effort at threat display, it extended two sinuous tentacles 180 degrees apart, mimicking a snake!’
      • ‘The orchid Chiloglottis trapeziformis belongs to a group of about 300 species that lure pollinators by mimicking a female insect.’
      • ‘The value of defenses such as spines or sticky hairs, the regurgitation of plant toxins on an enemy, and the ability to mimic a snake is easy to imagine.’
      • ‘A variety of insects, including some beetles and moths, mimic bees and wasps.’
      • ‘When mimicking a mantis shrimp, for example, the octopus sits in a burrow with only the eyes and part of the head exposed, and wraps one tentacle around its head to resemble the folded raptorial appendages of the mantis shrimp.’
      • ‘Thus, several kinds of king snakes mimic the venomous coral snake's distinctive pattern of alternating red, black, and yellow or white bands.’
      • ‘The study suggests that Luna also mimicked other killer whales he occasionally came across.’
      • ‘Weeds mimic plants, viruses trick the immune system, birds build nests and predators stalk - all engaging in strategies so successful that they look, but cannot possibly be, intentional.’
      • ‘Insects mimic twigs and flower parts, the sexual partners or foods of their prey, whatever is poisonous to those for whom they themselves are prey.’
      • ‘The caterpillars, which mimic the larva of M. sabuleti, are carried into the nest by the workers, where they then feed on the ant larvae.’
      • ‘An Australian orchid uses pheromones mimicking a female wasp to attract male wasps - but not all of them are fooled.’
      resemble, look like, have on the appearance of, take on the appearance of, simulate, mirror, echo
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    2. 1.2 (of a drug) replicate the physiological effects of (another substance)
      ‘the drug ephedrine mimics noradrenaline’
      • ‘Exendin - 4 mimics a mammalian hormone known as glucagon-like peptide, which regulates insulin release and glucose uptake from the blood after a meal.’
      • ‘We have long known that a variety of species are responsive to pheromones produced by plants to mimic sex pheromones.’
      • ‘New research has found that buckwheat extract contains a powerful ingredient called chiroinositol, which mimics the effects of insulin.’
      • ‘Sometimes mimicking natural hormones like estrogen, they alter other hormone concentrations.’
      • ‘In an extreme case of sex fakery, an orchid produces oddball chemicals that mimic a female wasp's allure so well that males prefer the floral scents to the real thing, scientists say.’
      • ‘The responses of roots of both cultivars to mechanical probing and to exoenzymes, used to mimic nematode chemical secretions, were also examined.’
      • ‘Another exceptionally useful trace mineral to combat diabetes is vanadium, which lowers blood sugar by mimicking insulin and improving the cells' sensitivity to insulin.’
      • ‘Further tests showed that eleutherobin mimics taxol's very unusual method of blocking cell division.’
      • ‘Many manufactured chemicals mimic natural hormones and send false messages.’
      • ‘Once extracted from these natural sources, the hormones are refined to mimic the human hormone molecule.’
      • ‘That's because one of the ways it achieves its healthful effects is by mimicking the female sex hormone.’
      • ‘Nonylphenol is an alkylphenol that mimics estrogen and disrupts sexual development in some invertebrates.’
      • ‘Caffeine might mimic a stimulating antidepressant such as fluoxetine (Prozac).’
      • ‘They can also be molecular (when, for example, a compound that mimics a hormone alters gene expression) or social.’
      • ‘Treatment with the histidine modifying reagent DEPC largely mimics the effects of low pH i.’
      • ‘Environmental groups also want the FDA to require companies to disclose the use of phthalates and compounds that mimic hormones on plastic container labels.’
      • ‘Some of these chemicals may mimic hormones, thereby disrupting the endocrine system.’
      • ‘To take the guesswork out of timing spray applications, Trece designed a trap with a kairomone - a scent that mimics the adult beetle's favorite food.’
      • ‘Why the absence of a motor protein should mimic the effects of a drug that presumably inhibits F-actin assembly remains a mystery.’
      • ‘This is unlikely given that the ATP effect was mimicked by ADP, and was also completely insensitive to oligomycin.’
    3. 1.3 (of a disease) exhibit symptoms that bear a deceptive resemblance to those of (another disease)
      ‘bacterial meningitis can present with acute disturbance of behaviour which may closely mimic substance abuse’
      • ‘Recent research has demonstrated the toxicity of aluminium; in fact many of the symptoms of aluminium toxicity can mimic Alzheimer's disease.’
      • ‘Gastroduodenal tuberculosis may mimic peptic ulcer disease with a shorter duration of history and non response to anti-secretary therapy 18.’
      • ‘The thyroid-stimulating hormone level should be checked routinely because hypothyroidism can mimic the symptoms of fibromyalgia.’
      • ‘It is common, benign, and may mimic other common illnesses.’
      • ‘Acute eosinophilic pneumonia, a rare and often fatal form of the disease that has developed in soldiers serving in and near Iraq, mimics community-acquired pneumonia.’
      • ‘There are a couple of things which can present with massive splenomegaly in the context of granulomatous disorders and may occasionally mimic other syndromes.’
      • ‘Hansen's disease can mimic tinea corporis by presenting as one or more annular, sometimes scaly, plaques.’
      • ‘Because other entities may mimic tinea infection, treatment should not be initiated on the basis of clinical presentation alone.’
      • ‘Pulmonary KS may cause radiographic infiltrates and respiratory symptoms that mimic a variety of other infectious and neoplastic processes.’
      • ‘There are fears that BSE in sheep could mimic scrapie, which passes easily by horizontal infection from sheep to sheep.’
      • ‘Mentioning that other conditions, such as thyroid disease, can mimic the symptoms of depression may help further persuade your loved one to seek treatment.’
      • ‘Hantavirus infections can appear clinically uncharacteristic and may mimic other syndromes.’
      • ‘Rarely, human immunodeficiency virus infection and opportunistic infections can mimic MS.’
      • ‘Other conditions that may mimic pancreatic cancer include chronic pancreatitis and choledocholithiasis.’
      • ‘Asthma symptoms vary widely and may mimic other childhood diseases.’
      • ‘Congenital toxoplasmosis can mimic disease caused by organisms such as herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, and rubella virus.’
      • ‘Fungal or mycobacterial infections usually have an indolent and protracted course but can mimic bacterial arthritis.’
      • ‘A cavitating tumor or post obstructive pneumonitis mimics a primary infection or abscess and can produce symptoms of fever, chills and productive cough.’
      • ‘This is a complicated issue for the elderly because HIV and AIDS are often misdiagnosed in this population, as symptoms often mimic other illnesses.’
      • ‘The symptoms are many and varied, and the illness often seems to mimic other diseases.’

noun

  • 1A person skilled in imitating the voice or actions of others in an entertaining way.

    ‘he has great ability as a mimic’
    • ‘I was always a mimic as a child, and that was my dream; to be in - you know, I wished I was in Vaudeville or something, doing different sketches.’
    • ‘A great mimic of voice and gesture, Mogulesco could impersonate anyone: rich, poor, male, female, elder, youth.’
    • ‘But just as Rush delights in mimicking a mimic this movie remains all on the surface of things - in love with only the simulacrum of Sellers and his life.’
    • ‘His ability as a mimic enabled him to copy Gandhi's voice intonations virtually perfectly.’
    • ‘Ryan [her actor husband, Ryan Philipe] is a natural mimic so it took three days for him to learn his Scottish accent for Gosford Park, while it took me two months.’
    • ‘The mimics, however, have hotly defended their artistic freedom to lampoon anyone, however big.’
    • ‘Of course the Zambian public has seen great mimics in the likes of the late Cletus Chanda, Ben Phiri and the hyper-talented Ozzias Banda, and would therefore not consider the former Kabanana actor as a great mimic.’
    • ‘Prasad rues that during the nascent stages of mimics, a well-appreciated performance on the stage was the ultimate dream of a mimicry artiste.’
    • ‘Sedellah, of Hope Street, beat off competition from young mimics from all over the country to reach the grand final of the 2002 Haribo search for the best young impressionist.’
    • ‘And his friends knew him as a highly entertaining mimic and raconteur.’
    • ‘The sheer multitude of vocal tones that a gifted mimic like Roth (the author) is able to conjure up is extraordinary.’
    • ‘He had a wonderful ear for detail in people's voices and was an excellent mimic.’
    • ‘Nor did we expect him to be so talented a mimic; he can imitate both of us, just as he can imitate break dancers and gymnasts and snakes and lemurs.’
    • ‘Comedy genius Sellers, famed for his talent as a mimic, gets the lofty laurel of ‘the most accurate’ Scottish accent captured on film.’
    • ‘In fact, entertainers have become versatile mimics of accents they weren't born with.’
    • ‘The main problem is that unlike, say, Billie Holiday, Joe Henry is more a faithful mimic than the genuine article.’
    • ‘She says just - I mean, she repeats everything, like a little mimic.’
    • ‘Hopkins imitates other actors - he's a genius mimic - Sean Connery, Richard Burton, Pierce Brosnan.’
    • ‘She described Brian as a great mimic, who hilariously had shown a remarkable ability to imitate anyone, including his mum and dad.’
    • ‘As a gifted mimic and notorious perfectionist, she would later become the most respected female actor of her generation.’
    impersonator, impressionist, imitator, mimicker
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    1. 1.1 An animal or plant that mimics another.
      ‘how did these insects evolve to become such perfect mimics?’
      • ‘Pfennig, the University of North Carolina biologist, added that this aversion to mimics has been seen in other species as the result of genetics.’
      • ‘Starlings are intelligent and adaptable, and are capable mimics.’
      • ‘These two ideas have been remarkably powerful in explaining animal behaviour, particularly that of the social insects (and their creepy mammalian mimics, the naked mole rats).’
      • ‘‘There should be a larger cone of protection around more toxic species,’ which gives mimics room to evolve new color patterns.’
      • ‘One notable and prized attribute of these little black and yellow beauties is they are brilliant mimics.’
      • ‘Magpies have long been known as clever mimics, not afraid to tackle the call of another species of bird, or even the sound of a tractor, but Gisela Kaplan has enormous respect for them for other reasons.’
      • ‘Thus, the similarity of the mimic O. israelitica to the model was higher with regard to the display size than those of O. boryi and O. caspia.’
      • ‘The mimic dips on his side and quivers just as the female does when she discharges her eggs.’
      • ‘Tui are of course mimics, and on Tiri they copy bellbirds.’
      • ‘Rettenmeyer was keen to find the beetles again, to take their photographs, to watch their behavior - in short, to understand how and why they came to be such exquisite mimics.’
      • ‘Researchers say ongoing analyses of the recordings have not yet enabled them to rule out other potential sound sources, such as the calls of blue jays, which are notorious mimics.’
      • ‘A lone killer whale near a Canadian fishing village was a skilled mimic that barked just like a sea lion, a new study reveals.’
      • ‘Besides the chance of spotting a wombat, Girraween also is home to that ultimate mimic, the lyrebird, and the wonderful powerful owl, which eats whole possums and throws away their tails.’
      • ‘This female mimic swims between a mating pair just as the dominant male is about to fertilize the female's eggs and fertilizes some of them himself.’
      • ‘In particular, one widely held belief is that there should always be strong selection pressure on mimics to resemble their models as closely as possible.’
      • ‘The best known mimics in the animal world are birds.’
      • ‘As a member of the mynah family, it is a skilled mimic.’
      • ‘Yellow-throated sneaker males are female mimics and cuckold orange males at a high rate.’
      • ‘A similar explanation has been proposed for other animal mimics that show evidence of vocal learning.’
      • ‘The ashy drongo does a wonderful call imitation of the shikra, but one such mimic spoilt the effect somewhat by hunting down a butterfly and making a messy job of de-winging it before breakfasting.’

adjective

  • attributive Imitative of something.

    ‘they were waging mimic war’
    • ‘The contours show combinations of mimic phenotypes that are attacked by predators with equal probability.’
    • ‘A few yards away, the remainder of the group was kneeling in a semicircle, worshipping the god among cephalopods - the mimic octopus!’
    • ‘A large mimic octopus [right] was sitting at the centre of a perfect round skirt made of its arms.’
    • ‘If the competitor strategy is strong, the mimic strategy will inevitably be second best.’
    • ‘The question was, what was the mimic octopus pretending to be?’
    • ‘They were around us throughout the dive at such close distance, making it impossible for us to concentrate on searching for the mimic octopus.’
    • ‘Each household became a mimic republic, in which slaves held first rank.’
    • ‘Michael spoke in a mimic English accent as the lights began to dim.’
    • ‘‘Yes, sir, here they are,’ Dirga's first officer handed out the mimic devices to the units.’
    • ‘Yes well you're probably thinking of the mimic cleaner wrasse there.’
    simulated, mock, imitation, make-believe, sham, imitative, mimetic
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Origin

Late 16th century (as noun and adjective): via Latin from Greek mimikos, from mimos ‘mime’.

Pronunciation

mimic

/ˈmɪmɪk/