One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who pretends to be someone else in order to deceive others, especially for fraudulent gain.
impersonator, masquerader, pretender, deceiver, hoaxerView synonyms
- ‘Everyone thought I knew what I was doing, but I felt like a fraud, an impostor, the Great Pretender!’
- ‘Those atrocity stories had been made up by impostors, many of whom had never even been in Vietnam.’
- ‘Her harshest critics consider her to be ‘one of most accomplished, ingenious, and interesting impostors in history.’’
- ‘If you poke them a bit (and maybe buy them a few drinks), many academics will confess to sometimes feeling like impostors perennially threatened with humiliating exposure.’
- ‘Original, well thought-out ideas will be rewarded and impostors won't last.’
- ‘Almost from the moment he died, and it was revealed that he was not an Apache halfbreed but an Englishman, Grey Owl has been depicted largely as a fake or fraud, an impostor.’
- ‘It is, then, not only the impostor's willingness to deceive on which their success depends, but the fact that we are on the whole astonishingly trusting and generally do not expect to be lied to.’
- ‘The e-Vote system must cope with a bewildering array of potential electoral chicanery: impostors, double voters, and enforcers.’
- ‘According to the GAO, the majority of passport fraud uncovered in 2004 involved imposters using legitimate identification documents belonging to someone else.’
- ‘As Kipling put it in his poem: ‘If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same…’’
- ‘From the beginning, professions mobilised themselves in their defence against quacks and impostors through associations or institutes.’
- ‘Two envelopes, A and B. Something to be signed and witnessed, just to prove I'm not an impostor; but would an impostor go to all this trouble?’
- ‘Purple Hearts are only given to American soldiers killed or injured in battle, and there have recently been cases of impostors using fake military medals to get ahead in business.’
- ‘The budding scientists of today will need to prepare themselves to do battle with silliness, impostors, tricksters and fraudsters.’
- ‘Socrates concluded that the ethics experts of his time were impostors, or to be more precise, that they were flatterers who had a knack for telling affluent Athenians just what they wanted to hear.’
- ‘On his part, he had no doubts that the claimant was an impostor and his supporters fools and rogues.’
- ‘These rapacious relations managed to poison her ears, arguing the new man was an impostor out to swindle her and them.’
- ‘He turned detective, tracked down the impostor and called the police.’
- ‘And are self-defined ‘radical feminists’ really as radical as they believe, or has the term been hijacked by impostors with decidedly conservative values?’
- ‘But even apart from the reactionary content of their politics, the dearth of substantive analysis brands them as charlatans and imposters.’
Late 16th century (in early use spelled imposture, and sometimes confused with imposture in meaning): from French imposteur, from late Latin impostor, contraction of impositor, from Latin imponere (see impose).
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