[sim-yuh-ley-kruh m]

noun, plural sim·u·la·cra [sim-yuh-ley-kruh] /ˌsɪm yəˈleɪ krə/.

a slight, unreal, or superficial likeness or semblance.
an effigy, image, or representation: a simulacrum of Aphrodite.

Origin of simulacrum

1590–1600; < Latin simulācrum likeness, image, equivalent to simulā(re) to simulate + -crum instrumental suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for simulacrum

Historical Examples of simulacrum

  • They radiate from the surface of the skin and reproduce a simulacrum, as it were, of the surface.

  • Denis, boy, will you do this thing and be for the time being the simulacrum of him we serve?

    The King's Esquires

    George Manville Fenn

  • It might have been, for all I could tell, a simulacrum of the work of men.

    Old Junk

    H. M. Tomlinson

  • Surely this is not argument; it is hardly the simulacrum of argument.

    The Color Line

    William Benjamin Smith

  • Or is this same Age of Hope itself but a simulacrum; as Hope too often is?

    The French Revolution

    Thomas Carlyle

British Dictionary definitions for simulacrum


noun plural -cra (-krə) archaic

any image or representation of something
a slight, unreal, or vague semblance of something; superficial likeness

Word Origin for simulacrum

C16: from Latin: likeness, from simulāre to imitate, from similis like
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 simulacrum

1590s, from Latin simulacrum "likeness, image, form, representation, portrait," dissimilated from *simulaclom, from simulare "to make like, imitate, copy, represent" (see simulation). The word was borrowed earlier as semulacre (late 14c.), via Old French simulacre.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper