Imitation vs. Replication — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on September 23, 2023
Imitation is the act of mimicking or copying something without necessarily aiming for exactness. Replication is the act of duplicating something as closely as possible to the original.
Difference Between Imitation and Replication
Table of Contents
Imitation is a term often used to describe the act of copying or mimicking something or someone, often without strict attention to detail. Replication, on the other hand, denotes an attempt to recreate something with the utmost accuracy, often in a scientific or technical context.
Imitation can involve varying degrees of likeness to the original, often allowing for interpretation or alteration. Replication is generally exact and seeks to minimize deviation from the original. This can be crucial in scientific experiments where small changes can result in entirely different outcomes.
Grammatically speaking, both "imitation" and "replication" serve as nouns but have different connotations. While "imitation" suggests a form that is similar but not identical, "replication" indicates an exact copy, often validated through rigorous methods.
In terms of application, imitation is commonly found in artistic contexts, such as music or painting, where the aim is not necessarily to produce an exact copy but to capture the essence of the original. Replication is more likely to be found in scientific research, technology, or manufacturing, where precision is often essential.
Used mainly as a noun
Used mainly as a noun
Arts, casual use
Degree of Accuracy
Compare with Definitions
A replica not intended for exact likeness.
The imitation diamond looked almost real.
The process of duplicating in detail.
DNA replication is crucial in cell division.
Mimicking with a specific intention or style.
His imitation of the actor's voice was spot-on.
Recreation with strict adherence to originality.
The replication of the experiment yielded the same results.
A form of flattery through emulation.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
A duplicate produced by scientific or technical methods.
The replication of the data confirmed the findings.
A recreation with noticeable differences.
The artist's imitation of the famous painting was interesting.
An exact copy of something.
The replication of the document was flawless.
An act of copying something or someone.
The child's imitation of her mother was adorable.
The act of making a replica with high fidelity.
The replication of the statue was indistinguishable from the original.
The act or an instance of imitating
Gave us his imitation of a famous actor.
The act or process of replicating something.
Something derived or copied from an original, often in an inferior way
An undrinkable imitation of real lemonade.
(Biology) The process by which genetic material, a single-celled organism, or a virus reproduces or makes a copy of itself.
Repetition of a phrase or melody often with variations in key, rhythm, and voice.
In scientific research, the repetition of an experiment to confirm findings or to ensure accuracy.
Repetition of a theme in another voice such that each part continues polyphonously.
A copy or reproduction
A replication of a famous painting.
Made to resemble another, usually superior material
(Law) The plaintiff's response to the defendant's answer or plea; a reply.
The act of imitating.
The process by which an object, person, place or idea may be copied mimicked or reproduced.
A copy or simulation; something that is not the real thing.
That painting is an almost exact replication of a famous Rembrandt painting.
The act of imitating.
Poesy is an art of imitation, . . . that is to say, a representing, counterfeiting, or figuring forth.
(legal) A response from the plaintiff to the defendant's plea.
That which is made or produced as a copy; that which is made to resemble something else, whether for laudable or for fraudulent purposes; likeness; resemblance.
Both these arts are not only true imitations of nature, but of the best nature.
(biology) The process of producing replicas of DNA or RNA molecules.
One of the principal means of securing unity and consistency in polyphonic composition; the repetition of essentially the same melodic theme, phrase, or motive, on different degrees of pitch, by one or more of the other parts of voises. Cf. Canon.
(computing) The process of frequent electronic data copying a one database in one computer or server to a database in another so that all users share the same level of information. Used to improve fault tolerance of the system.
The doctrine that representations of nature or human behavior should be accurate imitations
An answer; a reply.
Withouten any repplicacioun.
A copy that is represented as the original
The reply of the plaintiff, in matters of fact, to the defendant's plea.
Copying (or trying to copy) the actions of someone else
Return or repercussion, as of sound; echo.
To hear the replication of your sounds.
A representation of a person that is exaggerated for comic effect
A repetition; a copy.
Not genuine or real; being an imitation of the genuine article;
It isn't fake anything; it's real synthetic fur
Decorated with imitation palm leaves
A purse of simulated alligator hide
The copying, by enzymes, of a cell's genome, i.e. the DNA or RNA comprising its genetic material, so as to form an identical genome. This is an essential step in the division of one cell into two. This differs from transcription, which is the copying of only part of the genetic information of a cell's genome into RNA, as in the processes of biosynthesis of messenger RNA or ribosomal RNA.
The act of making copies;
Gutenberg's reproduction of holy texts was far more efficient
(genetics) the process whereby DNA makes a copy of itself before cell division
A quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one);
It brought a sharp rejoinder from the teacher
(law) a pleading made by a plaintiff in reply to the defendant's plea or answer
The persistence of a sound after its source has stopped
Copy that is not the original; something that has been copied
The repetition of an experiment in order to test the validity of its conclusion;
Scientists will not believe an experimental result until they have seen at least one replication
What does Replication mean?
Replication refers to duplicating something as closely as possible to the original.
Is Imitation always inferior?
Not necessarily; imitation can capture the essence without being an exact copy.
What does Imitation mean?
Imitation refers to copying or mimicking something, often without aiming for exactness.
How is Imitation used in art?
In art, imitation can be a form of tribute or interpretation.
Can Imitation be a form of learning?
Yes, imitation is a basic form of learning, especially in early development.
Can Replication be automated?
In many contexts, such as data storage, replication can be automated.
How is Replication used in science?
In science, replication validates experimental results by duplicating them precisely.
Is Replication always scientific?
While often used in scientific contexts, replication can apply to any exact duplication.
Is Replication important in research?
Yes, replication adds validity to research findings.
Are Imitation and Replication mutually exclusive?
No, an imitation can be a form of replication if it aims for exactness, but they generally differ in intent and outcome.
Can Imitation have legal implications?
Imitation can have legal ramifications if it infringes on copyrights or patents.
What are synonyms for Replication?
Duplication, reduplication, and reproduction are some synonyms for replication.
What are synonyms for Imitation?
Mimicry, emulation, and impersonation are some synonyms for imitation.
Is Replication crucial in manufacturing?
In manufacturing, replication ensures consistency and quality control.
Can Imitation be a form of flattery?
The phrase "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" suggests it can be.
Share Your Discovery
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.