Definition of mimesis in English:

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Pronunciation: /mɪˈmiːsɪs/
Pronunciation: /mʌɪˈmiːsɪs/


[mass noun] formal or technical
1Imitation, in particular:
1.1Imitative representation of the real world in art and literature: Barth has always detached his use of plot from mimesis
More example sentences
  • Dynamic repetition cannot be effectively portrayed, but can be performed in or by a literary text; in the place of mimesis, the literature of sensibility strives to develop such a performative aesthetic.
  • The founding discovery of modernism has often been defined as the detachability of art from representation, from mimesis in the Aristotelian sense of unproblematic imitation.
  • More than a sheer representation of nature, mimesis, as an integrating part of the poetic function in fables, adds a tangible and active dimension to human tragedy.
1.2The deliberate imitation of the behaviour of one group of people by another as a factor in social change: culture is organized in terms of mimesis and desire
More example sentences
  • Firstly, she explores issues to do with authenticity and replication, then mimesis, and finally the connections between work, leisure, learning and pleasure.
  • What impact mimesis might have on behaviour has been tendentious since Plato banished poets from the republic, yet we still lack a coherent theory for what exactly this impact would entail.
  • The role of mimesis in constituting desire, however, is usually hidden from awareness, since humans like to think of their desires as original and spontaneous.
1.3 Zoology another term for mimicry.
Example sentences
  • The mimesis of the Cuckoo egg in relation to host eggs was estimated from the slides.
  • Since the latter half of the 19th century different modes of floral mimesis have been identified within all major lineages of angiosperms pollinated by some members of the Orders Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera.


Mid 16th century: from Greek mimēsis, from mimeisthai 'to imitate'.

Words that rhyme with mimesis

amniocentesis, anamnesis, ascesis, catechesis, diesis, exegesis, prosthesis, psychokinesis, telekinesis

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mi|mesis

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