[ im-i-tey-shuh n ]
/ ˌɪm ɪˈteɪ ʃən /



designed to imitate a genuine or superior article or thing: imitation leather.
Jewelry. noting an artificial gem no part of which is of the true gemstone.Compare assembled, synthetic(def 5).

Nearby words

  1. imipramine,
  2. imipramine hydrochloride,
  3. imit.,
  4. imitable,
  5. imitate,
  6. imitation doublet,
  7. imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,
  8. imitative,
  9. imitative magic,
  10. imitator

Origin of imitation

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin imitātiōn- (stem of imitātiō). See imitate, -ion

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

Examples from the Web for imitation

British Dictionary definitions for imitation


/ (ˌɪmɪˈteɪʃən) /


the act, practice, or art of imitating; mimicry
an instance or product of imitating, such as a copy of the manner of a person; impression
  1. a copy or reproduction of a genuine article; counterfeit
  2. (as modifier)imitation jewellery
(in contrapuntal or polyphonic music) the repetition of a phrase or figure in one part after its appearance in another, as in a fugue
a literary composition that adapts the style of an older work to the writer's own purposes
Derived Formsimitational, adjective

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 imitation



c.1400, "emulation; act of copying," from Old French imitacion, from Latin imitationem (nominative imitatio) "a copying, imitation," from past participle stem of imitari "to copy, portray, imitate," from PIE *im-eto-, from root *aim- "copy" (cf. Hittite himma- "imitation, substitute"). Meaning "an artificial likeness" is from c.1600. As an adjective, from 1840.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper