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Imitate, Intimate & Intimidate

This grammar article talks about three similar looking and sounding words, but believe me they are not at all related. All the 3 have different meanings! Let’s discuss each –

2:12 min read
  Ramya Shankar  —  Grammar Tips
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Imitate (verb) – simply put, imitate is to copy someone or something, do same things as someone else. For example,

·        Monkeys imitate what humans do

·        Children imitate their parents, so behave well.

It is not necessary to use this word always in negative sense. You can get inspired by someone and try to imitate their behaviour or style.

The noun of imitate is imitation.

·        An imitation gun was brought on site for them to practice their shots.


Intimate (adjective)intimate is referred for a relationship or place or knowledge which is very personal, deep or close. For example,

·        The hotel’s ambience was intimate,

·        They became intimate friends because they had lot of common stories to share

·        She has intimate knowledge of physics.

·        The intimacy between them became a big problem later on.

Intimate as a verb means inform about something. Like,

·        Intimate me as soon as my manager arrives.


Intimidate – to intimidate a person is to create a fear in their mind. For example,

·        The teacher intimidated the students about being expelled if they don’t perform well in exams.

·        Don’t try to intimidate us with all this fake provocative news.

·        I felt intimidated by his constant phone calls and called for police protection.


There is no similarity between these words except that they have some common letters. Here is a conversation that has all the 3 words


A – Please intimate me when my parcel arrives.  (inform me)

B – May I know what’s inside the parcel?

A – Nothing much, just some imitation jewellery. (not original real gold or silver, but coated)

B – How much is it worth?

A – About 1500$. Is there a problem?

B – No, just that a friend was saying that the delivery guy missed his similar costly parcel. He suspects those guys may have taken it because it was so costly.

A – Oh, don’t get intimidated by such things. We will handle if anything untoward happens. (threatened, fearful)


I hope that with this article you have learnt three new words, the relation (actually the no-relation) between them and how each of them should be used.

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