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

Origin of imitative

From the Late Latin word imitātīvus, dating back to 1575–85. See imitate, -ive
Related formsim·i·ta·tive·ly, adverbim·i·ta·tive·ness, nounnon·im·i·ta·tive, adjectivenon·im·i·ta·tive·ly, adverbnon·im·i·ta·tive·ness, nouno·ver·im·i·ta·tive, adjectiveo·ver·im·i·ta·tive·ly, adverbo·ver·im·i·ta·tive·ness, nounpre·im·i·ta·tive, adjectiveun·im·i·ta·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for imitative

Contemporary Examples of imitative

Historical Examples of imitative

  • The imitative artist will be in a brilliant state of intelligence about his own creations?

  • The imitative art is an inferior who marries an inferior, and has inferior offspring.

  • This is why he uses the letter iota as imitative of motion, ienai, iesthai.

  • But music, like all art, must be truly imitative, and imitative of what is true and good.



  • True to her imitative instincts, Audrey could be frank with the frank.

    Audrey Craven

    May Sinclair

British Dictionary definitions for imitative



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