Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[im-i-tey-tiv] /ˈɪm ɪˌteɪ tɪv/
imitating; copying; given to imitation.
of, relating to, or characterized by imitation.
Biology. mimetic.
made in imitation of something; counterfeit.
Origin of imitative
From the Late Latin word imitātīvus, dating back to 1575-85. See imitate, -ive
Related forms
imitatively, adverb
imitativeness, noun
nonimitative, adjective
nonimitatively, adverb
nonimitativeness, noun
overimitative, adjective
overimitatively, adverb
overimitativeness, noun
preimitative, adjective
unimitative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for imitative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The imitative artist will be in a brilliant state of intelligence about his own creations?

    The Republic Plato
  • The imitative art is an inferior who marries an inferior, and has inferior offspring.

    The Republic Plato
  • This is why he uses the letter iota as imitative of motion, ienai, iesthai.

    Cratylus Plato
  • But music, like all art, must be truly imitative, and imitative of what is true and good.

    Laws Plato
  • True to her imitative instincts, Audrey could be frank with the frank.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • And still more unsuited is sculpture, the most imitative and objective of all the arts.

  • The only predominant characteristic that we know is their imitative power.

    The Arena Various
  • This masterpiece of imitative music is contained in a single recitative.

    The Standard Oratorios George P. Upton
  • Besides this there are many forms of animal play which are not imitative at all.

    The Story of the Mind James Mark Baldwin
British Dictionary definitions for imitative


imitating or tending to imitate or copy
characterized by imitation
copying or reproducing the features of an original, esp in an inferior manner: imitative painting
another word for onomatopoeic
Derived Forms
imitatively, adverb
imitativeness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for imitative

1580s, probably from imitate + -ive; or else from Middle French imitatif, from Late Latin imitativus, from imitat-, stem of imitari.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for imitative

Word Value for imitative

Scrabble Words With Friends