Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: copy-cat and copy cat


Alternative forms[edit]


From copy + cat(person). It has been in use since at least 1896, in Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs.


copycat ‎(plural copycats)

  1. (informal) One who imitates others' work without adding ingenuity.
  2. A criminal who imitates the crimes of another; specifically, a criminal who commits the same crime, especially a highly-publicized one, that has just been or recently committed by someone else.
    a copycat strangler



copycat ‎(comparative more copycat, superlative most copycat)

  1. Imitative; unoriginal.
    • 1997, “The Atlantic monthly”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      "Because of my size, I was a natural leader in junior high school. Gangs are the most copycat of subcultures. It used to be zoot suits; now it's tattoos. When I was thirteen, I got a tattoo"
    • 1997, Daniel Miller, Capitalism: an ethnographic approach:
      As one executive put it: Now in the beverage market we are to a great extent very copycat.
    • 2009, Alan Cole, Fathering your father: the Zen of fabrication in Tang Buddhism:
      It was that very copycat kind of "grandfather stealing" that makes Jinjue's text look like the son of Du Fei's Record, even as it works to push Du Fei's "father-text" out of the way.


copycat ‎(third-person singular simple present copycats, present participle copycatting, simple past and past participle copycatted)

  1. To act as a copycat; to copy in a shameless or derivative way
    • 2007 September 3, Janet Maslin, “His Girl Friday Meets a Sadistically Chic Serial Killer”, in New York Times[1]:
      In a genre that is rife with copycatting, Ms. Cain deserves some credit for having gotten a potentially interesting new series off the ground.