or im·post·er

[ im-pos-ter ]
/ ɪmˈpɒs tər /


a person who practices deception under an assumed character, identity, or name.

Nearby words

  1. impossibility,
  2. impossible,
  3. impossible figure,
  4. impost,
  5. impost block,
  6. impostor syndrome,
  7. impostume,
  8. imposture,
  9. imposure,
  10. impotence

Origin of impostor

1580–90; < Late Latin, equivalent to Latin impos(i)-, variant stem of impōnere to deceive, place on (see impone) + -tor -tor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impostor

British Dictionary definitions for impostor



/ (ɪmˈpɒstə) /


a person who deceives others, esp by assuming a false identity; charlatan

Word Origin for impostor

C16: from Late Latin: deceiver; see impose

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 impostor



1580s, from Middle French imposteur (16c.), from Late Latin impostor, agent noun from impostus, collateral form of impositus, past participle of imponere "place upon, impose upon, deceive," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + ponere "to put place" (see position).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper