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[sim-yuh-ley-kruh m] /ˌsɪm yəˈleɪ krəm/
noun, plural simulacra
[sim-yuh-ley-kruh] /ˌsɪm yəˈleɪ krə/ (Show IPA)
a slight, unreal, or superficial likeness or semblance.
an effigy, image, or representation:
a simulacrum of Aphrodite.
Origin of simulacrum
1590-1600; < Latin simulācrum likeness, image, equivalent to simulā(re) to simulate + -crum instrumental suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for simulacrum
Historical Examples
  • They radiate from the surface of the skin and reproduce a simulacrum, as it were, of the surface.

  • Denis, boy, will you do this thing and be for the time being the simulacrum of him we serve?

    The King's Esquires George Manville Fenn
  • It might have been, for all I could tell, a simulacrum of the work of men.

    Old Junk H. M. Tomlinson
  • Surely this is not argument; it is hardly the simulacrum of argument.

    The Color Line William Benjamin Smith
  • Or is this same Age of Hope itself but a simulacrum; as Hope too often is?

    The French Revolution Thomas Carlyle
  • There will never more be really a Pope, but only the effigy or simulacrum of one.

    At Home And Abroad Margaret Fuller Ossoli
  • Morality demands "the good," and not a simulacrum or make-shift.

  • I didn't look at him very much; I was studying the simulacrum of Yva.

    When the World Shook H. Rider Haggard
  • So the altogether British love of sport compelled this little interlude in the abuse levelled at the “simulacrum.”

    The Brighton Road Charles G. Harper
  • Distinctly outlined on the lid of the coffin was the simulacrum of the figure of a man.

British Dictionary definitions for simulacrum


noun (archaic) (pl) -cra (-krə)
any image or representation of something
a slight, unreal, or vague semblance of something; superficial likeness
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: likeness, from simulāre to imitate, from similis like
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 simulacrum

1590s, from Latin simulacrum "likeness, image, form, representation, portrait," dissimilated from *simulaclom, from simulare "to make like, imitate, copy, represent" (see simulation). The word was borrowed earlier as semulacre (late 14c.), via Old French simulacre.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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