Immolate vs emulate

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Immolate and emulate are two words that are similar in spelling and pronunciation, but have very different meanings. We will examine the definitions of the words immolate and emulate, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Immolate means to offer as a sacrifice or to kill as a sacrifice, especially by the method of burning. Immolate may also simply mean to destroy. The word carries the connotation of complete annihilation. Immolate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are immolates, immolated, immolating, immolation. The word immolate is derived from the Latin word immolatus, meaning sacrifice.

Emulate means to imitate someone, matching that person in importance or success, or to surpass that person in importance or success. Emulate carries the connotation of wishing to excel by patterning oneself on someone else who is worthy of esteem. The word emulate is a transitive verb, related words are emulates, emulated, emulating, emulator, emulation. Emulate is derived from the Latin word aemulator, which means an imitative rival.


A 45-year-old woman allegedly tried to immolate herself in front of the state secretariat here on Tuesday, the latest such incident at the building in last several months, a police official said.  (The Deccan Chronicle)

A man, charged with trying to immolate his former girlfriend and their 1-year-old son, and with beating the woman so severely she required reconstructive surgery, will serve 12 to 16 years in prison if he pleads guilty before trial, a judge decided Tuesday. (The Eagle-Tribune)

Combine the health of his game with the sky-high confidence and momentum he’s carrying, and there will be few surprises if he was to emulate Woods. (The National)

Emmy winner Danny Brocklehurst, writer of the British series “In The Dark”, says popular British novelist Roald Dahl was the first writer he wanted to emulate. (The Business Standard)