(also ‘impersonator‘, also with the spelling  ‘impostor‘; plural: imposters‘; pronunciation: the letter ‘i’ rhymes with the letter ‘i’ in “ink”)

an imposter with several faces

a person who deceives/cheats others by pretending to be someone else, i.e.using a different name, or a position or job that is not actually his/hers and often when the person has the same facial features as the one he/she imitates or copies, e.g. an ordinary person/criminal wearing a police officer’s uniform and showing fake ID of a popular or sincere police officer to steal money from a businessman or another criminal, or a police officer acting like a criminal and joining a gang of criminals to get information, or a person with no qualifications getting a good job by showing false certificates and pretending to be a knowledgeable person, etc.,


The entire staff was shocked to learn that the person whom they had taken for their chief for two days was actually an imposter who tried to steal important files from their office.

An imposter or impersonator is often called a comic ‘impressionist‘ when he or she does standing-in shows in order to amuse the public openly, especially when the imposter or impersonator is the look alike of the person he/she imitates.

There is a fast growing practice of small businesses sending imposters to make unsuspecting consumers buy their products.

Police have warned the general public of a gang of imposters that is trying to act like police officers or enforcement officers to get personal details such as bank account numbers, property details, etc. in order to steal their money.

For a news article that shows how we come across this word in our daily browsing, please click here, for an informative article that advises people on how to identify imposters who try to swindle people’s money, please click here, for an article that explains a kind of feeling that scientists call it ‘imposter phenomenon’, please click here, for an article that shows us how this word is used for some things as well as people, please click here and for an item of news about an ‘scientist importer’ in India, please click here.

Return to “pretender“.    Return to “double“.     Return to “faker“.     Return to “fraud“.     Return to “imitator“.

About the Author:BC Kumar

BC Kumar, an English Language Teacher, taught in numerous countries including Ethiopia, Oman and India, shares his knowledge and passion for the English Language. Disclaimer: This is a free educational website and all content has been compiled by the author. All copyrights to images and videos belong to their respective owners.

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