Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or instance of engaging in deception under an assumed name or identity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act or conduct of an impostor; deception practiced under a false or assumed character; fraud or imposition; cheating.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or conduct of an impostor; deception practiced under a false or assumed character; fraud or imposition; cheating.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act or conduct of an impostor; deception practised, usually under a false or assumed character; fraud or imposition.
  • n. An imposing or putting; imposition, or an imposition; that which is imposed or laid on.
  • n. Synonyms Trick, cheat.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. pretending to be another person

Etymologies

French, from Old French, from Late Latin impostūra, from Latin impostus, variant of impositus, past participle of impōnere, to place upon; see impose.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • It could not be at the fact that, for all your hollow proclamations of the auteur's commitment to the work alone, this imposture is actually an artifical bolstering of a self-esteem that's actually quite frail and flimsy.

    How Not to be a Writer

  • "I am sorry, sir," replied that gentleman, "that you should think it necessary to apply the word imposture to any 'proceeding of mine.

    The Evil Eye; Or, The Black Spector The Works of William Carleton, Volume One

  • But Soa knew well enough that this was but the beginning of the struggle, and that, though it might be comparatively easy for Juanna and Otter to enter the city, and impose themselves upon its superstition-haunted people as the incarnations of their fabled gods, the maintenance of the imposture was a very different matter.

    The People of the Mist

  • He calls for the magicians, who more than once had been detected in imposture.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • But, come now, just admit the idea of imposture into that honest, unsuspicious mind of yours, and you'll find the whole thing wears a very doubtful appearance directly.

    Put Yourself in His Place

  • If we read Polidori's figurative vampirism as something more than self-pity, his "imposture" is less postmodern playfulness than it is something far more sinister--the "glamour of imposture" as something poisonous to both the performer and the performed.

    The Little Professor:

  • What I called an "imposture" for a critical edition was precisely the impression given of a single, clean, definitive text in large type.

    'Romantic Originals': An Exchange

  • This "imposture," in Rosen's opinion, has an intimate connection with bibliography, though he never explains how bibliography causes the editor to take down the 1850 Prelude from the shelf (an easy, objective choice, according to Rosen) instead of the 1805 model (an awkward, subjective motion).

    'Romantic Originals': An Exchange

  • Once, though I felt it to be a kind of imposture, I got a speech by heart, and doubtless it might have been a very pretty one, only I forgot every syllable at the moment of need, and had to improvise another as well as I could.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 70, August, 1863

  • Of course such a phase of human experience is very substantial ground for every kind of imposture and superstition, and I have no faith whatever in mediums who practice for money.

    The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe

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