verb (used with object), im·per·son·at·ed, im·per·son·at·ing.

  1. to assume the character or appearance of; pretend to be: He was arrested for impersonating a police officer.
  2. to mimic the voice, mannerisms, etc., of (a person) in order to entertain.
  3. to act or play the part of; personate.
  4. Archaic. to represent in personal or bodily form; personify; typify.


  1. embodied in a person; invested with personality.

verb (tr)

  1. to pretend to be (another person)
  2. to imitate the character, mannerisms, etc, of (another person)
  3. rare to play the part or character of
  4. an archaic word for personify

1620s, “to invest with a personality,” from assimilated form of Latin in- “into, in” (see in- (2)) + persona “person.” Sense of “to assume the person or character of” is first recorded 1715. Earlier in same sense was personate (1610s). Related: Impersonated; impersonating.

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