[verb im-pur-suh-neyt; adjective im-pur-suh-nit, -neyt]

verb (used with object), im·per·son·at·ed, im·per·son·at·ing.

to assume the character or appearance of; pretend to be: He was arrested for impersonating a police officer.
to mimic the voice, mannerisms, etc., of (a person) in order to entertain.
to act or play the part of; personate.
Archaic. to represent in personal or bodily form; personify; typify.


embodied in a person; invested with personality.

Origin of impersonate

First recorded in 1615–25; im-1 + person + -ate1
Related formsim·per·son·a·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for impersonated

portray, imitate, mimic, represent, play, ditto, do, perform, fake, mirror, act, enact, ape, personate, playact

Examples from the Web for impersonated

Contemporary Examples of impersonated

Historical Examples of impersonated

  • Of the latter, one is the Princess von Steinheimer, and the other, the lady who impersonated her.

  • Alfred impersonated a wide range of characters while in this theatre.

  • To have impersonated the Ithacan was little; he had been just sitting for a God.

  • Did you think it possible, then, that some stranger might have impersonated me?

    The Message

    Louis Tracy

  • Egyptian theology had impersonated the forces of evil in Set.

    Comparative Religion

    J. Estlin Carpenter

British Dictionary definitions for impersonated


verb (tr)

to pretend to be (another person)
to imitate the character, mannerisms, etc, of (another person)
rare to play the part or character of
an archaic word for personify
Derived Formsimpersonation, nounimpersonator, 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 impersonated



1620s, "to invest with a personality," from assimilated form of Latin in- "into, in" (see in- (2)) + persona "person." Sense of "to assume the person or character of" is first recorded 1715. Earlier in same sense was personate (1610s). Related: Impersonated; impersonating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper