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[pur-suh-neyt] /ˈpɜr səˌneɪt/
verb (used with object), personated, personating.
to act or portray (a character in a play, a part, etc.).
to assume the character or appearance of; pass oneself off as, especially with fraudulent intent; impersonate.
to represent in terms of personal properties or characteristics; personify.
verb (used without object), personated, personating.
to act or play a part.
Origin of personate1
1590-1600; v. use of Latin persōnātus personate2
Related forms
personation, noun
personative, adjective
personator, noun


[pur-suh-nit, -neyt] /ˈpɜr sə nɪt, -ˌneɪt/
  1. (of a bilabiate corolla) masklike.
  2. having the lower lip pushed upward so as to close the gap between the lips, as in the snapdragon.
  1. having a masked or disguised form, as the larvae of certain insects.
  2. having masklike markings.
1750-60; < New Latin, Latin persōnātus masked; see persona, -ate1
Related forms
personately, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for personate
Historical Examples
  • We fixed upon Pierce to personate the ghost because he was tall and lanky.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • At that moment he was less like himself than was the impostor who came there to personate him.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • Let us fancy him on a journey, try and personate him; that would be the real way.

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • I accompanied Linton to Limerick at his request, dressed to personate you.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • It was his own idea to personate you, and the risk is his own.

    The Traitors

    E. Phillips (Edward Phillips) Oppenheim
  • It needed freedom, and the absence of any urgency, to enable him to personate a gentleman.

    David Elginbrod George MacDonald
  • Not always, however, did they personate the same characters.

    Daring and Suffering: William Pittenger
  • His plan, therefore, was to kill him, and then personate him.

    The Mark Of Cain Andrew Lang
  • He may personate me long enough to kill my father and rifle his hoards.

    Rattlin the Reefer Edward Howard
  • It was a picture that she dared not let her mind rest on: how then could she personate it?

    Vittoria, Complete George Meredith
British Dictionary definitions for personate


verb (transitive)
to act the part of (a character in a play); portray
a less common word for personify
(criminal law) to assume the identity of (another person) with intent to deceive
Derived Forms
personation, noun
personative, adjective
personator, noun


/ˈpɜːsənɪt; -ˌneɪt/
(of the corollas of certain flowers) having two lips in the form of a face
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin persōnātus masked, from Latin persōna; see person
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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