lifelike

Lifelike things look real, but they're not. A lifelike wax figure might look just like Queen Elizabeth, but it's actually a realistic statue.

An artist whose style is described as "realism" probably paints very lifelike scenes, producing paintings that look a lot like photographs. A child's doll might be disturbingly lifelike, made to look like a real live baby. As with many words, this one started life in the seventeenth century with a completely different meaning, "likely to live." The current definition came along about a hundred years later.

Definitions of lifelike
1

adj evoking lifelike images within the mind

“a lifelike portrait”
Synonyms:
graphic, pictorial, vivid
realistic
aware or expressing awareness of things as they really are

adj free from artificiality

“a lifelike pose”
Synonyms:
natural
unaffected
free of artificiality; sincere and genuine

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