SKIP TO CONTENT

mimesis

Mimesis is the imitation of life in art and literature. You know your painting exhibits mimesis when the viewers try to pick the flowers from the canvas.

You’ve probably heard that life imitates art. Well, when art imitates life, it’s mimesis. Originally a Greek word, meaning “imitation,” mimesis basically means a copycat, or a mimic. Mimesis might be found in a play with a realistic setting or in a particularly life-like statue. The word is also used in biology for a disease that shows characteristics of another illness. You can remember the definition of mimesis by thinking about a mime imitating an action.

Definitions of mimesis
  1. noun
    the imitative representation of nature and human behavior in art and literature
    see moresee less
    type of:
    imitation
    the doctrine that representations of nature or human behavior should be accurate imitations
  2. noun
    the representation of another person's words in a speech
    see moresee less
    type of:
    citation, quotation, quote
    a passage or expression that is quoted or cited
  3. noun
    any disease that shows symptoms characteristic of another disease
    see moresee less
    type of:
    disease
    an impairment of health or a condition of abnormal functioning
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week