emulate vs imitate : Common Errors in English

About emulate vs imitate

People generally know what “imitate” means, but they sometimes don’t understand that “emulate” is a more specialized word with a purely positive function, meaning to try to equal or match. Thus if you try to climb the same mountain your big brother did, you're emulating him; but if you copy his habit of sticking peas up his nose, you're just imitating him.

emulate Meaning(s)

  • (v) strive to equal or match, especially by imitating
  • (v) imitate the function of (another system), as by modifying the hardware or the software
  • (v) compete with successfully; approach or reach equality with

imitate Meaning(s)

  • (v) reproduce someone's behavior or looks
  • (v) appear like, as in behavior or appearance
  • (v) make a reproduction or copy of

emulate in News

  1. Watching Samsung Torture Galaxy S4s Is Weirdly Satisfying

    No matter how careful you try to be, you're going to do some damage to your phone. Accidents happen, especially when you try to avoid them. So to emulate your tender, loving care, Samsung took its Galaxy S4 through hell and back before it got to shelves. Somebody has to prepare that phone for you, you monster. Read more...        
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Gizmodo

  2. Fishing with the Boys

    Croaker in the cooler makes for good eating at the table Dennis Doyle My young sons were doing their best to emulate my actions as we drifted bloodworms over a hard shell bottom in a gently moving tide that June evening. My one-ounce sinker sent a tic-tic-tic flicking up the line on my light casting outfit. The rod tip was twitching right in rhythm.     Harrison’s rod suddenly arched. He ...
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Bay Weekly

  3. Prowling The Roster: #95 Josh Lumer

    Senior, 6'2" 235 lbs. 2012 Stats: Lumer saw limited playing time on special teams, but did not record any tackles. Depth Chart Position: Lumer is mainly a scout team player, helping to emulate the opposing team's defense each week during practice, but has seen some snaps on special teams throughout his career when called upon.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: Philly.com

imitate in News

  1. Critter Corner: Drake

    Drake is a 9-year-old Goldendoodle who loves attention. He gets really excited about the possibility of getting a treat and going for walks, as evidenced in the photo above. It’s a reaction that Emma and Melissa couldn’t help but imitate.
    on June 11, 2013 Source: Falls Church News-Press

  2. Bianchi introduces L'Eroica retro clothing

    Bianchi has a new line of retro-style clothing to celebrate L’Eroica, the non-competitive ride on Tuscany’s Strade Bianche that Bianchi sponsors. Designed to imitate the style of wool clothing from 50 years ago, the retro jersey made from 'heritage wool' has big pockets with buttons on both front and back, Bianchi logos on the sides and sleeves, and a button-fastened collar. The wool shorts have ...
    on June 10, 2013 Source: BikeRadar

Lightning fast vocabulary building for SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT and CAT