• synonyms


[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.
  1. to assume the character or appearance of; pretend to be: He was arrested for impersonating a police officer.
  2. to mimic the voice, mannerisms, etc., of (a person) in order to entertain.
  3. to act or play the part of; personate.
  4. Archaic. to represent in personal or bodily form; personify; typify.
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  1. embodied in a person; invested with personality.
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Origin of impersonate

First recorded in 1615–25; im-1 + person + -ate1
Related formsim·per·son·a·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for impersonating

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

Examples from the Web for impersonating

Contemporary Examples of impersonating

Historical Examples of impersonating

British Dictionary definitions for impersonating


verb (tr)
  1. to pretend to be (another person)
  2. to imitate the character, mannerisms, etc, of (another person)
  3. rare to play the part or character of
  4. an archaic word for personify
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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 impersonating



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper