1. To follow as a pattern, model, or example; to copy or strive to copy, in acts, manners etc. "Despise wealth and imitate a dog." (Cowlay)

2. To produce a semblance or likeness of, in form, character, colour, qualities, conduct, manners, and the like; to counterfeit; to copy. "A place picked out by choice of best alive The Nature's work by art can imitate." (Spenser) "This hand appeared a shining sword to weild, And that sustained an imitated shield." (Dryden)

3. <biology> To resemble (another species of animal, or a plant, or inanimate object) in form, colour, ornamentation, or instinctive habits, so as to derive an advantage thereby; sa, when a harmless snake imitates a venomous one in colour and manner, or when an odorless insect imitates, in colour, one having secretion offensive to birds.

Origin: L. Imitatus, p. P. Of imitari to imitate; of unknown origin. Cf. Image.

(01 Mar 1998)