Definition of personate in English:


transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1 formal Play the part of (a character in a drama)

    ‘here was our village cobbler in a French uniform, personating the general’
    • ‘It had been agreed that, in their escape, she was to personate the character of a Creole lady, and Emmeline that of her servant.’
    • ‘Especially since it is so simple: One performer personates Noël; the other, Gertie.’
    play the part of, play, act the part of, take the role of, act, represent, appear as
    1. 1.1Pretend to be (someone else), especially for fraudulent purposes such as casting a vote in another person's name.
      ‘he personated the king’
      • ‘he found himself personating at an election’
      • ‘He had acted as personating agent for the party at successive elections and was always to the fore at Church gate collections and fund raising events.’
      • ‘Now that he has put on Christ, he personates Him, so to speak, as a beggar in borrowed robes represents a king on the stage, walking as he also walked.’
      • ‘The clever rogues who had employed him and personated the members of the honourable firm were never traced.’
      • ‘Legitimate voters were refused a vote when they turned up at the polling station because someone else had personated them.’
      claim, lay claim, profess, pretend



/ˈpərsəˌnāt/ /ˈpərsəˌneɪt/


Late 16th century from late Latin personat- ‘represented by acting’, from Latin persona ‘mask’ (see person).