Imitation means copying the words, facial expressions, or actions of another person. Sometimes imitation is flattering, but often it's just annoying — like when your little brother does it to drive you crazy.

Use the adjective imitation to describe an object that pretends to be something else. Imitation paintings can be so real looking that it's hard to tell the fake from the genuine article. Some imitations have hung unnoticed on museum walls for years, only being exposed through the use of modern technology. A common proverb is "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," although museum directors and people with obnoxious little brothers would probably disagree.

Definitions of imitation

n copying (or trying to copy) the actions of someone else

an imitation or repetition
effort to equal or surpass another
the resemblance of an animal species to another species or to natural objects; provides concealment and protection from predators
Type of:
an act of copying

n something copied or derived from an original

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fake, postiche, sham
something that is a counterfeit; not what it seems to be
counterfeit, forgery
a copy that is represented as the original
fake book
a fake in the form of an imitation book; used to fill bookcases of people who wish to appear scholarly
Potemkin village
something that seems impressive but in fact lacks substance
Type of:
a thing made to be similar or identical to another thing

n a representation of a person that is exaggerated for comic effect

caricature, impersonation
a satirical imitation of heroic verse
burlesque, charade, lampoon, mockery, parody, pasquinade, put-on, sendup, spoof, takeoff, travesty
a composition that imitates or misrepresents somebody's style, usually in a humorous way
Type of:
humor, humour, wit, witticism, wittiness
a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter

n the doctrine that representations of nature or human behavior should be accurate imitations

the doctrine that formal structure rather than content is what should be represented
the imitative representation of nature and human behavior in art and literature
Type of:
doctrine, ism, philosophical system, philosophy, school of thought
a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school

adj not genuine or real; being an imitation of the genuine article

“decorated with imitation palm leaves”
fake, false, faux, simulated
artificial, unreal
contrived by art rather than nature

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