Definition of simulate in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Imitate the appearance or character of.

    ‘red ocher intended to simulate blood’
    • ‘He explains that the video was supposed to go through a film filter, simulating the appearance of film.’
    • ‘But if we make the duration large enough, we're simulating a temperature close to zero.’
    • ‘In a first for a TV series, the actors were filmed on parabolic flights to simulate zero gravity conditions so that they really are floating weightless in some of the scenes.’
    • ‘A series of fans help even out the temperature and simulate a natural growing environment, a series of lights prevents dormancy and a series of sensors control the irrigation system.’
    • ‘Students simulating minor injuries told The Carillon it had been an interesting experience.’
    • ‘Concrete countertops and concrete carved to simulate rockwork are some of the more interesting and high-profile applications of decorative concrete.’
    • ‘Yeast cells can be mistaken for red blood cells since they have a double refractile wall which may simulate the donut appearance of red cells.’
    • ‘Thus, parts of long destroyed Jewish community life were visually simulated, momentarily recreated.’
    • ‘Instead of having them don fake beards to simulate age, he allows their youthful appetite for experiment to emerge.’
    • ‘Daily activities often focus on communication or simulate situations for participants to experience.’
    • ‘To simulate conditions out on a boat, they read only the instructions attached to the jacket, not the entire user's manual.’
    • ‘Under the opulent chandelier of the Continental Hotel, well-heeled characters try to simulate bourgeois normality in a world of chaotic street battles and high-level skulduggery.’
    • ‘An open label design was chosen to simulate the conditions under which a healthcare provider or migraine patient might introduce a new therapy.’
    • ‘Online communities are especially addictive for children, because it simulates a level of control in their lives that they don't actually have.’
    • ‘But the dead giveaway on almost any of these fraudulent emails is not the painstakingly simulated appearance or the sophisticated coding, but the grammar!’
    • ‘The difficulty in communication is simulated by the one move/piece per turn restriction.’
    • ‘His movies simulate one of the least pretentious activities of all - people-watching.’
    • ‘People might call them simulations, but since we're not necessarily simulating anything real I prefer to call them experiments.’
    • ‘The grid simulates the appearance of individual panes of glass, and also offers the advantage of easy removability to simplify both painting and cleaning.’
    • ‘Pity the student found with a pocket knife, a table knife in his lunch sack or even a playful boy who might point his finger at his friend simulating a gun.’
    imitate, reproduce, replicate, duplicate, mimic, parallel, be a mock-up of
    artificial, imitation, fake, false, faux, mock, synthetic, man-made, manufactured, ersatz, plastic
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Pretend to have or feel (an emotion)
      ‘it was impossible to force a smile, to simulate pleasure’
      • ‘However, we are at least satisfied that the distress was not simulated.’
      • ‘With a slogan in the imperative for every page, each designed to stimulate or simulate happiness, the calendar is a study in conventional contentment.’
      • ‘Don't get emotional, though it isn't necessarily bad to simulate some emotion in order to change an opponent's behavior.’
      • ‘Spielberg's films have the advantage of comparison, between live actors, who simulate terror, and monstrous reptiles that look so real you hold your breath when close to them.’
      • ‘It's not easy to simulate their inner confidence while on national television, but it won't hurt to try.’
      • ‘In the end, simulated excitement was an apt metaphor for the Genies.’
      • ‘At best, they claim, clever programming might allow it to simulate human emotions, but these would just be clever fakes.’
      • ‘Here's how it goes: in live theatre, you're in the same physical space as people who are simulating fury or misery or excitement or love.’
      • ‘The spaces are designed to make the visitor feel disoriented, to simulate the feeling of those who were exiled.’
      • ‘One wonders why it is not said that the pleasure is simulated.’
      • ‘She simulates affection for him.’
      • ‘The message seems to be that it's inhuman to torture a nonhuman who simulates human emotion convincingly enough.’
      • ‘I really enjoyed watching curling during the Winter Olympics and I feel that Winter Sports did a superb job of simulating the excitement of this intoxicating sport.’
      • ‘Where once we had professional mourners to simulate grief on behalf of the vastly relieved, we now have mute indifference.’
      • ‘He tried to simulate emotions so that Ant would not become too suspicious.’
      feign, pretend, fake, sham, affect, put on, counterfeit, go through the motions of, give the appearance of
      feigned, fake, mock, pretended, affected, assumed, counterfeit, sham, insincere, not genuine, false, bogus, spurious
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Produce a computer model of.
      ‘future population changes were simulated by computer’
      • ‘The constructive simulation is a computer model that simulates the roles of large numbers of participants on the battlefield.’
      • ‘Other researchers already had made some progress simulating turbulence with powerful computer models.’
      • ‘Several computer models, simulating the movement of dust in the atmosphere, were used to track its journey in this study.’
      • ‘In 1997, Governato designed a computer model to simulate evolution of the universe from the big bang until the present.’
      • ‘To identify the best way to control the cantilever, the researchers used computer models to simulate both chemically and electrically based switching mechanisms.’


Mid 17th century (earlier ( Middle English) as simulation): from Latin simulat- ‘copied, represented’, from the verb simulare, from similis ‘like’.