Definition of imitative in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɪmɪtətɪv/


1Copying or following a model or example: the derring-do of our film heroes inspired us to imitative feats
More example sentences
  • Over the centuries the makers of delftware have copied all sorts of decorative styles so that this essentially imitative craft has become a style in itself.
  • Moreover, they are in every respect exemplary - i.e. they are projected as an imitative model for the viewing subject.
  • Each year, for example, imitative Miskitu crowns, scepters, and swords appear as part of a celebratory re-enactment called the kingpulanka.
similar, like;
mimicking, mimetic, mimic, parrot-like
informal copycat
1.1Following a model or example without any attempt at originality: I found the film pretentious and imitative
More example sentences
  • His architecture is a result of his subtle imitative skills rather than originality, solving problems by picking and choosing from existing schools.
  • They are not hackneyed imitative replicas of the original versions.
  • Though uneven and a bit inchoate, it shows an awareness both of the more complex, radical aspects of Debussy and the Strauss of Salome and Elektra, without being slavishly imitative of either.
2(Of a word) reproducing a natural sound (e.g. fizz) or pronounced in a way that is thought to correspond to the appearance or character of the object or action described (e.g. blob).
Example sentences
  • The number of imitative words in any language is bound to be quite small, and for many such words the sound-meaning relation is by no means direct.
  • The derivation of the word ‘quail’ has been charmingly explored by Francesca Greenoak who points out that it is an imitative name, cognate with ‘quack’.



Example sentences
  • By the end of the first half of the concert, when the group performed the Credo from this Mass, some tuning problems had crept in, especially in the opening measures of sections when only one or two parts were beginning imitatively.
  • Several language acquisition studies show that children as young as eighteen months can combine all of the types of intention reading we have discussed above while imitatively learning novel words.
  • It imitatively lifted the idea, without noticing that because the New Zealand tax system is pay-as-you-earn, one pays taxes all the year.


Example sentences
  • Most of the people surrounding him are skeptical and disaffected, and he may adopt the same attitude from imitativeness or sheer cowardice.
  • If one thing strikes Western observers of Eastern karaoke, it is its imitativeness.
  • The economic rationale of their imitativeness - including their self-imitativeness - is, ‘Well, we don't really know what works, so let's repeat what worked and let's throw money at the studio or the star or the producers who gave us hits.‘

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: imi¦ta|tive

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