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Borrowed from Latin simulācrum (image, likeness).


  • IPA(key): /ˌsimjəˈleɪkɹəm/
  • (file)


simulacrum (plural simulacrums or simulacra)

  1. An image or representation.
    a simulacrum of a New York studio apartment
    • 2008 October 23, Manohla Dargis, “Dreamer, Live in the Here and Now”, in New York Times[1]:
      Like the full-scale map in Borges’s short story “On Exactitude in Science,” the representation takes on the dimensions of reality to the point of replacing it. The French theorist Jean Baudrillard uses Borges’s story as a metaphor for his notion of the simulacrum, which probably explains why Caden, who has trouble naming things, considers titling his production “Simulacrum.”
    • 2018, Ling Ma, chapter 1, in Severance, →ISBN:
      The future just wants more consumers. The future is more newly arrived college grads and tourists in some fruitless search for authenticity. The future is more overpriced Pabsts at dive-bar simulacrums.
    • 2018 September 18, Amanda Kolson Hurley, “Fake Public Squares Are Coming to the Suburbs”, in The Atlantic[2]:
      We shouldn’t have to dodge traffic on an eight-lane road just to get to a simulacrum of an inclusive urban place. The problem is not too much Disneyland thinking—it’s not enough.
  2. A faint trace or semblance.
    a simulacrum of hope


Further reading[edit]



From simulō +‎ -crum.



simulācrum n (genitive simulācrī); second declension

  1. an image, likeness
    • Maurus Servius Honoratus, In Vergilii Bucolica commentarii :
      Aliī dīcunt Orestem, cum Diānae Facelītidis simulācrum raptum ex Scythiā adveheret et ad Siciliam esset tempestāte dēlātus, complētō annō Diānae fēstum celebrāsse hymnīs, collēctīs nautīs suīs et aliquibus pāstōribus convocātīs, et exinde permānsisse apud rūsticōs cōnsuētūdinem.
      Others say that Orestes, when he was taking the figure of Taurian Diana from Scythia and was carried off to Sicily by a storm, he venerated her an entire year with hymns, with his sailors collected and some shepherds summoned, and that from there did the custom remain among the country-dwellers.
    Synonyms: effigiēs, imāgō, statua


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative simulācrum simulācra
Genitive simulācrī simulācrōrum
Dative simulācrō simulācrīs
Accusative simulācrum simulācra
Ablative simulācrō simulācrīs
Vocative simulācrum simulācra


  • English: simulacrum
  • French: simulacre
  • Spanish: simulacro


  • simulacrum”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • simulacrum”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • simulacrum in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • simulacrum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[3], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to make a marble statue: simulacrum e marmore facere