Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 8, 2020 is:
emulate • EM-yuh-layt • verb
1 a : to strive to equal or excel
b : imitate; especially : to imitate by means of hardware or software that permits programs written for one computer to be run on another computer
2 : to equal or approach equality with
Younger children will often try to emulate the behavior of their older siblings.
“As part of its subsequent push to emulate the West, Meiji-era Japan encouraged the production of domestic versions of that same whiskey. Japanese distillers often used sweet potatoes, which were abundant, but they produced a much different spirit than the barley, corn and rye used in Scotland and America.” — Clay Risen, The New York Times, 29 May 2020
Did you know?
If imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, then past speakers of English clearly had a great admiration for the Latin language. The verb emulate joined the ranks of Latin-derived English terms in the 16th century. It comes from aemulus, a Latin term for “rivaling” or “envious.” Two related adjectives—emulate and emulous—appeared within a half-century of the verb emulate. Both mean “striving to emulate; marked by a desire to imitate or rival” or sometimes “jealous,” but emulous is rare these days and the adjective emulate is obsolete. The latter did have a brief moment of glory, however, when William Shakespeare used it in Hamlet:
“Our last king,
Whose image even but now appear’d to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto prick’d on by a most emulate pride,
Dar’d to the combat….”