• WordNet 3.6
    • adj imitation not genuine or real; being an imitation of the genuine article; it's real synthetic fur" "it isn't fake anything","faux pearls","false teeth","decorated with imitation palm leaves","a purse of simulated alligator hide"
    • n imitation copying (or trying to copy) the actions of someone else
    • n imitation something copied or derived from an original
    • n imitation the doctrine that representations of nature or human behavior should be accurate imitations
    • n imitation a representation of a person that is exaggerated for comic effect
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Clay vessels imitating shells Clay vessels imitating shells

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Blue Jays can imitate the calls of hawks
    • Imitation (Mus) One of the principal means of securing unity and consistency in polyphonic composition; the repetition of essentially the same melodic theme, phrase, or motive, on different degrees of pitch, by one or more of the other parts of voises. Cf. Canon.
    • Imitation That which is made or produced as a copy; that which is made to resemble something else, whether for laudable or for fraudulent purposes; likeness; resemblance. "Both these arts are not only true imitations of nature, but of the best nature."
    • Imitation (Biol) The act of condition of imitating another species of animal, or a plant, or unanimate object. See Imitate v. t., 3.
    • Imitation The act of imitating. "Poesy is an art of imitation , . . . that is to say, a representing, counterfeiting, or figuring forth."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Mockingbirds can imitate any sound from a squeaking door to a cat meowing.
    • n imitation The act of imitating; an imitating or copying.
    • n imitation That which is made or produced by imitating; hence, in general, a likeness or resemblance; a simulated reproduction or representation; more loosely, a likeness or resemblance in general.
    • n imitation Specifically, in music, the process or act of repeating a melodic phrase or theme, either at a different pitch or key from the original, or in a different voice-part, or with some rhythmic or intervallic modification not so great as to destroy the resemblance. The original phrase or theme is often called the antecedent, and the imitation the consequent. Imitation is reckoned one of the chief beauties of polyphonic writing and of composition in general. Its esthetic value lies in the combined unity and variety that it introduces into intricate works, and in the opportunity it affords for ingenuity and skill. Imitation is said to be strict when the succession of intervals is identical in both antecedent and consequent, and free when some modification of the one appears in the other. The commonest regular varieties of free imitation are: by augmentation (augmented imitation), in which the rhythmic value of the several tones is systematically increased, as when quarter-notes are represented by half-notes; by diminution (diminished imitation), in which the rhythmic value of the several tones is systematically lessened, as when quarter-notes are represented by eighth-notes; by inversion (inverted imitation, inverted counterpoint, or imitation in contrary motion), in which every upward interval in the antecedent is represented in the consequent by an equivalent downward interval, and vice versa; and retrograde or reversed imitation, in which the intervals of the antecedent are taken in reverse order in the consequent. The interval of pitch by which the consequent is separated from the antecedent is indicated by calling the imitation at the fifth, at the octave, etc. Strict imitation is canonic, and the result, if of some extent, is a canon (which see); imitation is also the basis of the fugue (which see).
    • imitation Made in imitation; counterfeit; not genuine; copied: as, imitation stone, lace, gold, etc.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The male scorpion fly gets other males to bring him food by imitating a female fly.
    • n Imitation act of imitating: that which is produced as a copy, a likeness:
    • n Imitation (mus.) the repeating of the same passage, or the following of a passage with a similar one in one or more of the other parts or voices
    • ***


  • Fred A. Allen
    “Imitation is the sincerest form of television.”
  • Salvador Dali
    “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Imitation is suicide.”
  • Francesco Guicciardini
    Francesco Guicciardini
    “One who imitates what is bad always goes beyond his model; while one who imitates what is good always comes up short of it.”
  • Eric Hoffer
    “When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    “No man was ever great by imitation.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. imitatio,: cf. F. imitation,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. imitāri, imitātus, ety. unknown.


In literature:

He admired Luis de Leon and imitated him in paraphrases of the Psalms.
"Modern Spanish Lyrics" by Various
He soon had pupils and imitators by the score.
"The Opera" by R.A. Streatfeild
Each of us is in fact what he is almost exclusively by virtue of his imitativeness.
"Talks To Teachers On Psychology; And To Students On Some Of Life's Ideals" by William James
Give a three-minute talk on "Stage-Fright," including a (kindly) imitation of two or more victims.
"The Art of Public Speaking" by Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein
Massenet had many imitators; he never imitated anyone.
"Musical Memories" by Camille Saint-Saëns
The example of Pius V. was not only imitated, but surpassed.
"Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2" by John Addington Symonds
Now ye are called to follow the leadings of God, to imitate the examples of love he has set before you.
"Life and Labors of Elder John Kline, the Martyr Missionary" by John Kline
Now this is not imitation, but a much deeper thing.
"The Greatest Thing In the World and Other Addresses" by Henry Drummond
It is one way to train the tiger to imitate you, it is a shorter way to imitate the tiger.
"Orthodoxy" by G. K. Chesterton
We see that doubtful imitations are beginning to circulate.
"Horace and His Influence" by Grant Showerman

In poetry:

And let the Heavenly citizens
rejoice in those
who have imitated them in this way.
"O Presul Vere Civitatis" by Hildegard von Bingen
It were my soul's desire
To imitate my King,
It were my soul's desire
His ceaseless praise to sing.
"The Soul's Desire" by Anonymous Irish
These beads are pearls disguised as imitations.
This broken chair, my dear? It is a throne
From which you may survey the lesser nations,
Those lands that cannot claim you as their own.
"The Attic" by Henri Coulette
Now, I must leave Jack Honest and his mother in fresh found glory,
Hoping my readers will feel interested in this story,
And try always to imitate the hero— Jack Honest—
And I'm sure they will find it the safest and the best!
"Jack Honest, or the Widow and Her Son" by William Topaz McGonagall
Only daughter—Ah! how fondly Thought around that lost name lingers,
Oft when lone your mother sitteth, she shall weep and droop her head,
She shall mourn her baby-sempstress, with those imitative fingers,
Drawing out her aimless thread.
"Poems - Written On The Deaths Of Three Lovely Children" by Jean Ingelow
"My oath!" the Duchess sez. "You'd not ixpect
Sich things as that. Yeh don't mean kangaroos?
Go hon!" she sez, or words to that effect --
(It's 'ard to imitate the speech they use)
I tells 'er, 'Straight; I drives 'em four-in-'and 'Ome in my land.'
"A Digger's Tale" by C J Dennis

In news:

Artist creates backyard swimming pools that imitate nature.
To leave a liberal legacy in the courts, Obama must imitate the GOP.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, dogs often shower us with praise.
New research has just determined dogs automatically imitate us, even when it is not in their best interest to do so.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, what is mockery.
Now comes "Swimfan," a high school "Fatal Attraction," which is just as slavishly imitative of its source.
Not capable of being imitated: matchless.
Recent research has shown the benefit of framing problems of imitation learning as solutions to Markov Decision Problems.
With so many package tours on the road in imitation of Lollapalooza, which started the trend six years ago, audiences are not only dwindling, they're also getting less enthusiastic.
Angus Lind on how art imitates death Full story.
BATMAN'S youthful imitators may forever try to terrorize those who refuse them Halloween treats.
Young children like to imitate their parents, and this is especially true during meal planning and food preparation.
It's the sentences that need trimming: Far too often, Mr Lopate's prose imitates the meandering of his feet.
A man hunting wild turkeys in Maine was trying to lure a turkey into the open with his imitation of a turkey's call — but his mimicry was just a little too good.
They're only pale (under their feathers) imitations of the lean, mean turkeys roaming through the woods of North America.

In science:

We note that the cosmological constant term can be imitated also by the form of rankF = D.
Exact solutions in multidimensional gravity with antisymmetric forms
Some examples with billiards of a finite volume in multidimensional Lobachevsky space (e.g. triangle billiard imitating Bianchi-IX model) and hence oscillating behaviour near the singularity were considered.
Exact solutions in multidimensional gravity with antisymmetric forms
There are two basic ways to arrange φ ≃ const and hence to imitate the vacuum-like state. 1.
The parameters we choose for the present investigation imitate a situation which would be characteristic for a GUT-like transition.
Goldstone excitations from spinodal instability
In Section 4.2 we have defined the combinatorial convex hull cCH (S (t)) of a set of polynomial sites by imitating the characterization of the ordinary convex hull as an intersection of half-planes.
Limits of Voronoi Diagrams