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[verb im-pur-suh-neyt; adjective im-pur-suh-nit, -neyt] /verb ɪmˈpɜr səˌneɪt; adjective ɪmˈpɜr sə nɪt, -ˌneɪt/
verb (used with object), impersonated, impersonating.
to assume the character or appearance of; pretend to be:
He was arrested for impersonating a police officer.
to mimic the voice, mannerisms, etc., of (a person) in order to entertain.
to act or play the part of; personate.
Archaic. to represent in personal or bodily form; personify; typify.
embodied in a person; invested with personality.
Origin of impersonate
First recorded in 1615-25; im-1 + person + -ate1
Related forms
impersonation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for impersonated
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This impersonated the south-west wind—the wind which brought burning heat and drought in its wake.

  • Of the latter, one is the Princess von Steinheimer, and the other, the lady who impersonated her.

  • At the wassailing ceremony a boy climbed up into a tree and impersonated the bird.

    Ancient Man in Britain Donald A. (Donald Alexander) Mackenzie
  • Did you think it possible, then, that some stranger might have impersonated me?

    The Message Louis Tracy
  • Thus he had watched our start at the very place where his brother M'Gambi had impersonated the king.

    In the Heart of Africa Samuel White Baker
  • Egyptian theology had impersonated the forces of evil in Set.

    Comparative Religion J. Estlin Carpenter
  • Charles Mathews impersonated impudent youth, just as Farren impersonated unpleasant and ridiculous old age.

    The English Stage Augustin Filon
British Dictionary definitions for impersonated


verb (transitive)
to pretend to be (another person)
to imitate the character, mannerisms, etc, of (another person)
(rare) to play the part or character of
an archaic word for personify
Derived Forms
impersonation, noun
impersonator, 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
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Word Origin and History for impersonated



1620s, "to invest with a personality," from assimilated form of Latin in- "into, in" (see in- (2)) + persona "person." Sense of "to assume the person or character of" is first recorded 1715. Earlier in same sense was personate (1610s). Related: Impersonated; impersonating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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