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See more synonyms for personate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), per·son·at·ed, per·son·at·ing.
  1. to act or portray (a character in a play, a part, etc.).
  2. to assume the character or appearance of; pass oneself off as, especially with fraudulent intent; impersonate.
  3. to represent in terms of personal properties or characteristics; personify.
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verb (used without object), per·son·at·ed, per·son·at·ing.
  1. to act or play a part.
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Origin of personate

1590–1600; v. use of Latin persōnātus personate2
Related formsper·son·a·tion, nounper·son·a·tive, adjectiveper·son·a·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for personation

show, color, mask, circus, revel, costume, facade, impersonation, deception, pretense, cloak, imposture, festivity, screen, pose, front, veil, cover-up, carnival, cover

Examples from the Web for personation

Historical Examples of personation

  • No man surely 20 ever had so little talent for personation as Johnson.

    Macaulay's Life of Samuel Johnson

    Thomas Babington Macaulay

  • As to the personation of votes, there should have been no allegation made.

    Ralph the Heir

    Anthony Trollope

  • In the Seville auto of September 24, 1559, there were three cases of personation.

  • And it was believed that in this behalf, they were having recourse to personation.


    R. D. Blackmore

  • They are bribery, treating, undue influence, and personation.

British Dictionary definitions for personation


verb (tr)
  1. to act the part of (a character in a play); portray
  2. a less common word for personify
  3. criminal law to assume the identity of (another person) with intent to deceive
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Derived Formspersonation, nounpersonative, adjectivepersonator, noun


  1. (of the corollas of certain flowers) having two lips in the form of a face
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Word Origin for personate

C18: from New Latin persōnātus masked, from Latin persōna; see person
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