Definition of imitation in US English:

imitation

noun

  • 1The action of using someone or something as a model.

    ‘a child learns to speak by imitation’
    • ‘Humans learn to speak by imitation, and are astonishingly good at it.’
    • ‘There is a difference, he observes, between intelligent decentralized decisionmaking and slavish imitation.’
    • ‘The deliberate imitation of classical models was a central part of the English grammar-school education.’
    • ‘In the imitation of nature, as in nature itself, balance is important.’
    • ‘They're used in imitation and imitation is a crucial part of being able to build a model that allows us to anticipate what somebody else would do in a certain circumstance.’
    • ‘Genuinely angry, our model imitator and model for imitation copies the rhetorical form naturally used by angry men.’
    • ‘I've seen no convincing evidence of any slavish imitation, at least until now.’
    • ‘The imitation of classical models was less common than on the Continent and, except for Jonson, no important writer paid strict attention to the rules humanist critics had formulated.’
    • ‘The model nature of Windsor involved imitation, as of the Tudor style, to make a statement with a lot of leisure about it.’
    • ‘Repeatedly, he stressed that the imitation of general nature was the highest aim of art.’
    • ‘Mimicry is imitation and imitation is the best form of flattery.’
    • ‘His works have inspired countless imitations the world over.’
    • ‘The popularity of this model of imitation is reflected in the various metaphors that Renaissance and Baroque authors generated to describe the process.’
    • ‘Aristotle asserted the value of poetry by focusing on imitation rather than rhetoric.’
    • ‘His theory of music was an unbridled acceptance of realism - the imitation of nature in myriad ways.’
    • ‘If ruthlessness is allowed to triumph on the island, it will spawn imitations elsewhere.’
    • ‘Is the model a worthy or deserving target of prankish imitation?’
    • ‘These actions are then imitated, because imitation is both common to and necessary for the species, and this leads to the behaviour spreading.’
    • ‘Obedience cannot, moreover, be a matter for isolated preoccupation, in the search for models for our imitation.’
    • ‘We now have running turf wars by vested interests which place the welfare of the patient and the accession to treatment at the bottom of the system in supine imitation of the British model.’
    emulation, copying, following, echoing, parroting
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    1. 1.1 An act of imitating a person's speech or mannerisms, especially for comic effect.
      ‘he attempted an atrocious imitation of my English accent’
      • ‘In fact, it would be just as effectual as the sight of Em's leprechaun imitation.’
      • ‘His rare attempts at communication are through imitation and usually in only one or two words.’
      • ‘Carissa clapped her hands together in an accurate imitation for effect.’
      • ‘‘Uh, eating my breakfast,’ I replied in my own imitation of her snooty voice.’
      • ‘‘Like, duh,’ I rolled my eyes in a valley girl imitation, flipping my hair for good effect.’
      • ‘His imitation was a poor caricature of his boss's brawny presence, his hands lost in the cuffs of a shirt meant for someone broader.’
      • ‘Sophia changed her voice in imitation of my father.’
      • ‘Here he employs an improbably effective Paul Lynde imitation for much of his delivery.’
      • ‘In his show he exploited a talent for mimicry that manifested itself in a Moira Anderson imitation when he was seven, and then in wicked parodies of his teachers.’
      impersonation, impression, parody, mockery, caricature, burlesque, travesty, lampoon, pastiche
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    2. 1.2Music The repetition of a phrase or melody in another part or voice, usually at a different pitch.
      • ‘In this early work, moreover, Crawford still relies on traditional phrasing and contrapuntal imitation, so the listener has that rock to hold on to.’
      • ‘One could consider this a contrapuntal jeu d' esprit, with rapid lines of imitation and stretto, but for its character of psychological unease.’
      • ‘The piece has imitation throughout, and the two piano parts are evenly dispersed thematically and in difficulty level.’
      • ‘He relished the opportunities inherent in the imitative style, especially what happens when imitation is allowed to lose its usually rigid tonal control.’
      • ‘Parker's setting are starker, more monumental, more dependent on modes, open fifths, and contrapuntal imitation.’
  • 2A thing intended to simulate or copy something else.

    as modifier ‘an imitation diamond’
    • ‘In one robbery, the gang used an imitation firearm to threaten their victims.’
    • ‘We are told the police may shoot people carrying imitation guns by mistake.’
    • ‘Without such protection, cheap imitations of your products can quickly eat up profits.’
    • ‘The chairs were tailored with cheap imitation leather and had many slits.’
    • ‘Surely, there could be imitations and really good reproductions, but these cannot be considered original art.’
    • ‘Make sure that you're buying the real thing and not a cheap imitation.’
    • ‘People should not take imitation weapons to an international airport hotel and leave them lying around unattended.’
    • ‘A jacket made of black imitation leather was preventing the midnight chill.’
    • ‘He was searched and a blue plastic imitation handgun costing £1.50 was found in his tracksuit pocket.’
    • ‘Five imitation handguns including a fake M16 machine gun and four fake handguns were also seized during the swoop.’
    • ‘Officers will distribute posters and leaflets about the dangers of selling and using imitation weapons.’
    • ‘Painted imitations were a cheap and easy version of this complex and expensive art form.’
    • ‘Sometimes one products hits, and there's money to be made off of imitations and homologues.’
    • ‘We've seen these tubs framed in to make poor imitations of modern tubs.’
    • ‘These works are often replicas or imitations of ancient Greek and Roman art.’
    • ‘Some of the fish used is even cooked, like imitation crab and eel.’
    • ‘Devices designed to distinguish between diamond and imitations rely on these properties.’
    • ‘This one was definitely real, not the cheap imitations the tourists go to.’
    • ‘Oh you studied creatures, you flimsy confections of powder and resin, set in tinsel and imitation leather!’
    • ‘It means even drinkers of cheap imitations of champagne pay an extra 50p a bottle.’
    copy, simulation, reproduction, replica
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Phrases

  • imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

    • proverb Copying someone or something is an implicit way of paying them a compliment.

      • ‘However, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; when I met the director he said ‘do you mind if I call you God?’’
      • ‘Like I said, I've been trying not to completely copy from her, but as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’
      • ‘Sure, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’
      • ‘If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then this is an exceptionally sincere film.’
      • ‘The seed of the disaster book boom may have been planted by the success of the late '90s hits ‘In Thin Air’ and ‘The Perfect Storm’ - as you know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’
      • ‘Nor does he now think that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’
      • ‘But, hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?’
      • ‘After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’
      • ‘If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then all the celebrity yogis of Manhattan and Beverly Hills prove that they are definitely enamored of India.’
      • ‘Sure, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - unless the imitator, dressed in sequins and feathers, belts out mutated lyrics to songs you made famous.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin imitatio(n-), from the verb imitari (see imitate).

Pronunciation

imitation

/ˌiməˈtāSH(ə)n//ˌɪməˈteɪʃ(ə)n/