Definition of personate in English:



[with object]formal
  • 1Play the part of (a character in a drama)

    ‘here was our village cobbler in a French uniform, personating the general’
    • ‘Especially since it is so simple: One performer personates Noël; the other, Gertie.’
    • ‘It had been agreed that, in their escape, she was to personate the character of a Creole lady, and Emmeline that of her servant.’
    play the part of, play, act the part of, take the role of, act, represent, appear as
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    1. 1.1 Pretend to be (someone else), especially for fraudulent purposes such as casting a vote in another person's name.
      ‘he personated the king’
      no object ‘he found himself personating at an election’
      • ‘Now that he has put on Christ, he personates Him, so to speak, as a beggar in borrowed robes represents a king on the stage, walking as he also walked.’
      • ‘He had acted as personating agent for the party at successive elections and was always to the fore at Church gate collections and fund raising events.’
      • ‘The clever rogues who had employed him and personated the members of the honourable firm were never traced.’
      • ‘Legitimate voters were refused a vote when they turned up at the polling station because someone else had personated them.’
      claim, lay claim, profess, pretend
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Late 16th century: from late Latin personat- ‘represented by acting’, from Latin persona ‘mask’ (see person).