[ mi-mee-sis, mahy- ]
/ mɪˈmi sɪs, maɪ- /


Rhetoric. imitation or reproduction of the supposed words of another, as in order to represent his or her character.
(in literature, film, art, etc.)
  1. imitation of the real world, as by re-creating instances of human action and events or portraying objects found in nature: This movie is a mimesis of historical events.
  2. the showing of a story, as by dialogue and enactment of events.
Compare diegesis.
Biology. imitation.
Zoology. mimicry.
Also mimosis. Pathology.
  1. the simulation, due to hysteria, of the symptoms of a disease.
  2. the simulation of the symptoms of one disease by another.



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Origin of mimesis

1540–50; <Greek mī́mēsis ‘imitation’, equivalent to mīmē- (variant stem of mīmeîsthai ‘to copy’) + -sis-sis

Words nearby mimesis

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for mimesis

British Dictionary definitions for mimesis

/ (mɪˈmiːsɪs) /


art literature the imitative representation of nature or human behaviour
  1. any disease that shows symptoms of another disease
  2. a condition in a hysterical patient that mimics an organic disease
biology another name for mimicry (def. 2)
rhetoric representation of another person's alleged words in a speech

Word Origin for mimesis

C16: from Greek, from mimeisthai to imitate
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

Medical definitions for mimesis

[ mĭ-mēsĭs, mī- ]


The appearance of symptoms of a disease not actually present, often caused by hysteria.
Symptomatic imitation of one organic disease by another.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.