The Joy of Language Learning

Simulate a Simulator

Similis is related to semblance which we use in phrases such as ‘there was not even a semblance of regret on his face’ to mean not even an outward likeness or appearance of regret or ‘under the semblance of honesty’ to mean ‘(honest) only in appearance; not in reality’.’His mouth wore its usual semblance of a smile’

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Some other related words are resemble, assemble (which originally meant to make alike and later took on the sense of to gather, collect). To assemble is to gather together in one place for a common purpose or like how a machine’s parts are assembled. Dissemble, which has taken on a negative connotation and means to take on a false appearance or pretend. ‘She tried to dissemble her disappointment with a joke.’ meaning she tried to disguise or conceal her disappointment.

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The past tense of similare, simulat- became the base of simulate, dissimulate, (and the related words simulation and dissimulation). Flight simulators provide similar conditions as actual flying and football players sometimes fall and ‘simulate pain’ to make it appear that the other person has committed a foul. A simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time.

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Dissimulate carries a similar sense as dissemble (hides one’s true feelings, feign), as in, I suggest you reconsider inviting both of them on the same evening…they do not like each other and neither will take the trouble of dissimulating meaning they will both make their dislike for each apparent.

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Another Latin root for like or ‘of a similar kind’ is talis. Talio, in Latin, referred to ‘payment in kind’ from which retaliate and retaliation (as in, the very first attack decimated the camp; making it impossible for them to retaliate) get their modern sense of returning like for like. Freedom fighters retaliated against the British empire for India’s independence.

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Tabular Summary:

 sembleancethe outward appearance or apparent form of something, especially when the reality is different
resemble have a similar appearance to or qualities in common with (someone or something)
assemble 1)gather together in one place for a common purpose. 2)fit together the separate component parts of (a machine or other object).
dissemble conceal or disguise one’s true feelings or beliefs.
 simulate imitate the appearance or character of.
 simulationthe imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time
dissimulate conceal or disguise
 retaliate to return like for like, especially to get revenge


Welcome to your Simulate a simulator quiz.

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1) (The Economic Times) Here ‘semblance’ means:

2) (WIPRI) Here ‘resemble’ means:

3) (News by Tesapp) Here ‘assembling’ means:

4) (The Verge) Here ‘simulated’ means:


Click on the image below to solve the crossword puzzle.

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