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
  1. noun
    copying (or trying to copy) the actions of someone else
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    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
  2. noun
    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
    a distorted, debased, or absurd imitation of something
    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
  3. noun
    a representation of a person that is exaggerated for comic effect
    synonyms: caricature, impersonation
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    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
  4. noun
    the doctrine that representations of nature or human behavior should be accurate imitations
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    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
  5. adjective
    not genuine or real; being an imitation of the genuine article
    “decorated with imitation palm leaves”
    synonyms: fake, false, faux, simulated
    artificial, unreal
    contrived by art rather than nature
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