[ im-i-tey-tiv ]
/ ˈɪm ɪˌteɪ tɪv /


imitating; copying; given to imitation.
of, relating to, or characterized by imitation.
Biology. mimetic.
made in imitation of something; counterfeit.

Nearby words

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

Origin of imitative

From the Late Latin word imitātīvus, dating back to 1575–85. See imitate, -ive

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

Examples from the Web for imitative

British Dictionary definitions for imitative


/ (ˈɪmɪtətɪv) /


imitating or tending to imitate or copy
characterized by imitation
copying or reproducing the features of an original, esp in an inferior mannerimitative painting
another word for onomatopoeic
Derived Formsimitatively, adverbimitativeness, 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

Word Origin and History for imitative



1580s, probably from imitate + -ive; or else from Middle French imitatif, from Late Latin imitativus, from imitat-, stem of imitari.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper