Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To assume the character or appearance of, especially fraudulently.
  • transitive verb To imitate the appearance, voice, or manner of; mimic.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To invest with personality; ascribe the qualities of a person to; represent in bodily form; personify; embody.
  • To assume the person or character of; personate, especially on the stage: as, to impersonate Hamlet.
  • Personified; invested with personality.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To invest with personality; to endow with the form of a living being.
  • transitive verb To ascribe the qualities of a person to; to personify.
  • transitive verb To assume, or to represent, the person or character of; to personate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To manifest in corporeal form, or in one's own person or body.
  • verb transitive To pretend to be (a different person), to assume the identity of.

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

  • verb represent another person with comic intentions
  • verb pretend to be someone you are not; sometimes with fraudulent intentions
  • verb assume or act the character of

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From im- + Latin persona ‘person’ + -ate, modelled on incorporate.

Examples

  • Kachina, for example, also denotes one of the elaborately masked dancers who impersonate a kachina at agricultural ceremonies, and yeibichai and shalako similarly have the same kind of dual usage.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol X No 3

  • How do you know they are intending to 'impersonate' YOU?

    Aerosmith's Steven Tyler is suing unknown bloggers who've impersonated him.

  • See, ITOTM, we "impersonate" you in order to make fun of you.

    Riding Balls Out: The Haters and the Hated

  • The white Tim tells us he got an email from Twitter Tuesday informing him they were shutting down his account because they believed he was trying to "impersonate" the Black, much taller Tim Duncan.

    Yahoo! Sports - Top News

  • Anyone going to a fancy dress party or acting or re-enacting is not trying to 'impersonate' in the legal sense that they want you to think that they are members of HMF.

    Army Rumour Service

  • The problem is, yes, I know Frank Langella wasn't trying to "impersonate" Nixon, but come-on, couldn't they have at least tried to hire someone who resembled him, just a LITTLE bit?

    EclipseMagazine

  • The problem is, yes, I know Frank Langella wasn't trying to "impersonate" Nixon, but come-on, couldn't they have at least tried to hire someone who resembled him, just a LITTLE bit?

    EclipseMagazine

  • The problem is, yes, I know Frank Langella wasn't trying to "impersonate" Nixon, but come-on, couldn't they have at least tried to hire someone who resembled him, just a LITTLE bit?

    EclipseMagazine

  • I wish I could sue SNL in defense of Sarah for defamation of character on some of what Tina Fey did to "impersonate"

    WordPress.com News

  • I wish I could sue SNL in defense of Sarah for defamation of character on some of what Tina Fey did to "impersonate"

    WordPress.com News

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.