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Imitate vs intimate

Imitate and intimate are two words that are often confused. We will examine the definitions of imitate and intimate, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Imitate means to copy someone or something, to ape someone or something, to use someone or something as a model for behavior. Imitate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are imitates, imitated, imitating, imitator, imitation, imitative. The word imitate is a back-formation from the word imitation, which is derived from the Latin word imitationem, which means copying.


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Intimate, when pronounced as rhyming with imitate, means to hint at something, to suggest something or to declare something. In this case, the word intimate is a transitive verb. Related words are intimates, intimated, intimating, intimater, intimation. The word intimate when used as a verb is a back-formation from the word intimation, which is derived the Latin word intimare which means to make known.

Examples

With respect to the growth factor release profiles, Sanchez said, “we saw that the aim of imitating what takes place in nature was also achieved.” (Science Daily)

Over two thousand years ago, the Greek philosopher Aristotle said something like “Art imitates life” (only in Greek, of course), and that notion has served the film industry well the last few years. (The Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette)

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has intimated the club parted ways with Thomas Tuchel because of a lack of respect – and says they were “worn out” by the German coach. (The Mirror)

Clearing doubts over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s availability for the inauguration of Kochi Metro, the PM’s office has intimated the Chief Minister’s office Modi will open the urban rail network on June 17. (The New Indian Express)

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