effort or desire to equal or excel others.
Obsolete. jealous rivalry.

Origin of emulation

First recorded in 1545–55, emulation is from the Latin word aemulātiōn- (stem of aemulātiō). See emulate, -ion
Related formsnon·em·u·la·tion, nouno·ver·em·u·la·tion, noun

Synonyms for emulation

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for emulation

Contemporary Examples of emulation

  • What's not clear is whether Platt will profit or finally suffer from all the adoration and emulation.

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    Ripping Off Larry Platt's "Pants"

    Kim Masters

    February 1, 2010

  • Eliphaz Laki had been someone worthy of emulation: a prominent civil servant, a regional administrator known as a saza chief.

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    Vanished in Uganda

    Andrew Rice

    June 5, 2009

  • It was very much the same way I believe Obama will seek to lead—partly by instinct and partly by emulation.

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    Obama's Speech and the Burden of History

    Harold Evans

    January 20, 2009

Historical Examples of emulation

British Dictionary definitions for emulation



the act of emulating or imitating
the effort or desire to equal or surpass another or others
archaic jealous rivalry
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

Word Origin and History for emulation

1550s, from Middle French émulation (13c.) and directly from Latin aemulationem (nominative aemulatio), from past participle stem of aemulari "to rival, strive to excel," from aemulus "striving, rivaling" (also as a noun, "a rival," fem. aemula), from Proto-Italic *aimo-, from PIE *aim-olo, from root *aim- "copy" (see imitation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper