American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The act or an instance of imitating.
- n. Something derived or copied from an original.
- n. Music Repetition of a phrase or melody often with variations in key, rhythm, and voice.
- n. Music Repetition of a theme in another voice such that each part continues polyphonously.
- adj. Made to resemble another, usually superior material: imitation fur.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act of imitating; an imitating or copying.
- n. 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. 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).
- Made in imitation; counterfeit; not genuine; copied: as, imitation stone, lace, gold, etc.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act of imitating.
- n. 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.
- n. (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.
- n. (Biol.) The act of condition of imitating another species of animal, or a plant, or unanimate object. See Imitate, v. t., 3.
- n. something copied or derived from an original
- n. copying (or trying to copy) the actions of someone else
- n. the doctrine that representations of nature or human behavior should be accurate imitations
- n. a representation of a person that is exaggerated for comic effect
- adj. not genuine or real; being an imitation of the genuine article
“If the imitation is exact, the term _strict imitation_ is applied, but if only approximate, then the term _free imitation_ is used in referring to it.”
“Fuseli and Coleridge falsely apply the term imitation, making "a distinction between imitation and copying, representing the first as the legitimate function of art -- the latter as its corruption.”
“Officers found a 13-year-old boy holding two air soft pistols, which they described as imitation firearms.”
“As they say, imitation is the greatest form of flattery.”
“The fashionable hour was high noon, though in imitation of the English, afternoon weddings were popular, and three p.m. was popular for winter weddings, and four p.m. in the spring.”
“Peering through the windows at the spectacles hosted by white planters, enslaved blacks would then prance and preen in imitation of whites at their own dances, using exaggerated movements, curtsys and bows to and adopting “high-toned” clothing to mock.”
“Peering through the windows at the spectacles hosted by white planters, enslaved blacks would then prance and preen in imitation of whites at their own dances, using exaggerated movements, curtsys and bows to and adopting “high-toned” clothing to [...]”
“In other news this week, I learned first hand that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
“At first, in imitation of Daguerre, Conway tried coating silver plates with the silence, but realizing that sound requires space in which to resonate, he switched to glass lanterns.”
“He had chosen this work, he said, because the declamatory style was framed in imitation of the eastern authors.”
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