Mimick vs. Mimic — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on October 3, 2023
"Mimic" refers to imitating someone’s actions, speech, or appearance, often to entertain or deceive. "Mimick" is just an obsolete spelling of "mimic," so they share the same meaning; the contemporary and correct spelling is "mimic."
Difference Between Mimick and Mimic
Table of Contents
Mimic is the standard and modern spelling for the term that denotes the act of imitating or copying the behavior, speech, or actions of another, often to entertain, mock, or deceive. It can refer to individuals who imitate others for various purposes, such as learning, mockery, or camouflage. On the other hand, Mimick is an archaic variant of the same word, found in older texts but it is not used in contemporary English. Both words share the exact meaning, but their spelling differs, with "mimick" being outdated and generally considered incorrect in modern usage.
The term mimic, in its standard form, can be used as a verb or a noun. As a verb, it represents the action of imitating, and as a noun, it refers to a person or thing that imitates. It’s widely used in various contexts, such as in biology, where some species mimic others for survival benefits, and in everyday language to describe imitation in general. Mimick, while holding the same meaning, is rarely seen in modern texts and has been superseded by the more streamlined spelling, "mimic."
The preference for mimic over mimick in modern English reflects the evolution of language, where spellings are modified over time for standardization and convenience. It's crucial, especially in formal writing and communication, to use the contemporary and universally accepted spelling, "mimic," to avoid misunderstandings or perceptions of incorrectness. While mimick may appear in historical or literary contexts to convey period-appropriate language, it is essentially interchangeable in meaning with its modern counterpart.
In literature and everyday conversation, mimic is commonly used to describe both deliberate and unintentional imitation. It holds relevance in discussions about learning processes, behavioral studies, and artistic performances, among others. Mimick, owing to its obsolete status, is likely to be encountered predominantly in older literature or in discussions about the historical development and variations of the English language.
Obsolete spelling of “mimic.”
Refers to the imitation of actions, speech, or appearance.
Rarely used, found in older texts.
Commonly used in modern English.
Appears mainly in historical or period-specific literature.
Used in various contexts, including biology and arts.
Generally considered incorrect in contemporary English.
The contemporary and correct spelling of the term.
Holds the same meaning as “mimic” but is outdated.
Standard term for describing imitation.
Compare with Definitions
Alternative form of mimic
Mimic can also mean to resemble or replicate certain characteristics or features.
“The robot was designed to mimic human movements.”
Alternative form of mimic
Mimic can denote reproducing sounds or appearances of other entities.
“The parrot could mimic a range of sounds, from car alarms to human voices.”
To copy or imitate closely, especially in speech, expression, and gesture
A girl who naturally mimics her older sister.
To copy or imitate so as to ridicule; mock
Always mimicking the boss.
To reproduce or simulate
"Scientists figured out how to mimic conditions in the bowels of the earth and began fabricating ... synthetic diamonds" (Natalie Angier).
To resemble by biological mimicry
An insect that mimics a twig.
To have a similar structure, action, or effect as
A drug that mimics a compound in the body.
To produce symptoms like those of (a disease).
To produce (symptoms) like those produced by a different disease.
One who copies or mimics others, as for amusement.
One who practices the art of mime.
An organism that resembles another by mimicry.
A chemical having a structure, action, or effect like that of another.
A disease or disorder producing symptoms like those of another.
Relating to or characteristic of a mimic or mimicry.
A mimic battle.
To imitate, especially in order to ridicule.
(biology) To take on the appearance of another, for protection or camouflage.
A person who practices mimicry; especially:
A comic who does impressions.
An entity that mimics another entity, such as a disease that resembles another disease in its signs and symptoms; see the great imitator.
Pertaining to mimicry; imitative.
(mineralogy) Imitative; characterized by resemblance to other forms; applied to crystals which by twinning resemble simple forms of a higher grade of symmetry.
Oft, in her absence, mimic fancy wakesTo imitate her.
Man is, of all creatures, the most mimical.
Consisting of, or formed by, imitation; imitated; as, mimic gestures.
Imitative; characterized by resemblance to other forms; - applied to crystals which by twinning resemble simple forms of a higher grade of symmetry.
One who imitates or mimics, especially one who does so for sport; a copyist; a buffoon.
To imitate or ape for sport; to ridicule by imitation.
The walk, the words, the gesture, could supply,The habit mimic, and the mien belie.
To assume a resemblance to (some other organism of a totally different nature, or some surrounding object), as a means of protection or advantage.
Someone who mimics (especially an actor or actress)
Imitate (a person, a manner, etc.), especially for satirical effect;
The actor mimicked the President very accurately
Constituting an imitation;
The mimic warfare of the opera stage
Mimic refers to the act of imitating someone’s actions, speech, or appearance.
“She could mimic her teacher’s accent perfectly.”
It denotes copying behavior or attributes, often to entertain or deceive.
“Some insects mimic leaves to avoid predators.”
It represents simulating conditions or properties for study or analysis.
“The laboratory environment was set to mimic the natural habitat of the species.”
Can the term “mimick” be used in formal writing?
No, “mimick” is an obsolete spelling and “mimic” should be used in formal writing.
Is the meaning of “mimic” and “mimick” the same?
Yes, they share the same meaning, but “mimick” is an outdated spelling.
Can “mimic” refer to unintentional imitation?
Yes, “mimic” can describe both intentional and unintentional imitation.
Is “mimic” used in biological contexts?
Yes, “mimic” is used in biology to describe species that imitate others for survival benefits.
Can “mimick” be found in modern publications?
“Mimick” is rarely found in modern publications, and “mimic” is the correct contemporary spelling.
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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.