• synonyms


  1. imitating; copying; given to imitation.
  2. of, relating to, or characterized by imitation.
  3. Biology. mimetic.
  4. made in imitation of something; counterfeit.
  5. onomatopoeic.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for imitativeness

Historical Examples of imitativeness

  • The trouble appears to arise from the imitativeness of the race.

    The Complete Essays of C. D. Warner

    Charles Dudley Warner

  • But imitativeness has always been the curse of English potters.

  • As to production the reason for imitativeness is often to effect economy.

  • The Japanese excel in imitativeness, but are not as reliable as the Chinese.

  • As an extreme case, look for a moment at their imitativeness.

British Dictionary definitions for imitativeness


  1. imitating or tending to imitate or copy
  2. characterized by imitation
  3. copying or reproducing the features of an original, esp in an inferior mannerimitative painting
  4. another word for onomatopoeic
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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 imitativeness



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper