Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To play the role or portray the part of (a character); impersonate.
  • transitive v. To endow with personal qualities; personify.
  • transitive v. Law To assume the identity of, with intent to deceive.
  • adj. Botany Having two lips, with the throat closed by a prominent palate. Used of a corolla, such as that of the snapdragon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to fraudulently portray another person; to impersonate
  • v. to portray a character (as in a play); to act
  • v. to attribute personal characteristics to something; to personify
  • adj. Having the throat of a bilabiate corolla nearly closed by a projection of the base of the lower lip; masked, as in the flower of the snapdragon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To celebrate loudly; to extol; to praise.
  • transitive v. To assume the character of; to represent by a fictitious appearance; to act the part of; hence, to counterfeit; to feign
  • transitive v. To set forth in an unreal character; to disguise; to mask.
  • transitive v. To personify; to typify; to describe.
  • intransitive v. To play or assume a character.
  • adj. Having the throat of a bilabiate corolla nearly closed by a projection of the base of the lower lip; masked, as in the flower of the snapdragon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To assume or put on the character or appearance of; play the part of; pass one's self off as.
  • To assume; put on; perform; play.
  • To represent falsely or hypocritically; pretend: with a reflexive pronoun.
  • To represent by way of similitude; typify.
  • To describe; characterize; celebrate.
  • To play a fictitious character.
  • In botany, mask-like; having the lower lip pushed upward so as to close the hiatus between the two lips, as in the snapdragon: said of a gamopetalous irregular corolla.
  • In zoöl., masked or disguised in any way.
  • Same as personated.

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

  • v. attribute human qualities to something
  • v. pretend to be someone you are not; sometimes with fraudulent intentions

Etymologies

Late Latin persōnāre, persōnāt-, to bear the character of, represent, from Latin persōna, person; see person.
Latin persōnātus, masked, from persōna, mask; see person.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin persōnātus (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The listeners were deprived of seeing and hearing Ben Rogers "personate"

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol III No 2

  • One might at first reject this conjecture on the grounds that several trips to personate at polling stations would exceed annual effort expenditure by Swampees, but this neglects the new Banglamularky postal voting system in which 8 to 10 adult residents at each address are registered in exchange for a tin of superlager, with all that fuss over signing paper taken over by friendly neighbourhood Nulabour worthies.

    Boy George Is Sailing Close To The Wind….. « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • You have been brought there to personate someone, and the real person is imprisoned in this chamber.

    Sole Music

  • Amid these perplexities, it suddenly occurred to my adventurous heart and contriving brain — what if I should personate the bridegroom? —

    Saint Ronan's Well

  • First, you couldn't personate a living Christian monarch.

    Sacraments on Stage?

  • Who else better to 'personate the Cares of Life for Mr. Obama than Mr. Clinton?

    I call Barack Obama to account for picking another bland, midwestern pretty boy.

  • It was great blasphemy, when the devil said, I will ascend, and be like the highest; but it is greater blasphemy, to personate

    The Essays

  • The high mimetic powers possessed by Mr. Dickens enabled him to personate with remarkable force the various characters of the story, and with admirable skill to pass rapidly from the hard, unbelieving Scrooge, to trusting and thankful

    Speeches: Literary and Social

  • Periplectomines, that good personate old man, delicium senis, well understood this in Plautus: for when Pleusides exhorted him to marry that he might have children of his own, he readily replied in this sort,

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Gentle reader, I presume thou wilt be very inquisitive to know what antic or personate actor this is, that so insolently intrudes upon this common theatre, to the world's view, arrogating another man's name; whence he is, why he doth it, and what he hath to say; although, as [7] he said,

    Anatomy of Melancholy

Comments

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  • That, after he found me out there (I know not how), he could procure two women dressed out richly, to personate your ladyship and Miss Montague...

    Clarissa Harlowe to Lady Betty Lawrance, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

    January 4, 2008