What do you call the act of pretending to be someone else? Spies often pretend to be someone else. I was wondering if the word "performance" could be used to refer to the act of pretending spies often do? I am wondering if it's only used for stage actors.

For example:

The spy got lost in his performance and started believing the lies he put up to the public.

The spy got tired of his performance and decided to behave like himself, which he later regretted when he noticed someone trailing him.


1 Answer 1


Impersonating, acting, imitating, mimicking, posing. These are words that could be used to mean pretending to be someone else. Impersonators act like someone else, often with the intent to deceive or amuse. Actors play a character. Poser is a word often used to describe a try-hard. To mimic or imitate means to adopt characteristics of something, not necessarily someone, else.

It's not just used for stage actors, but I think "act" is a better word for your example. "Performance" has connotations of the theatrical which do not always fit with the behavior of spies.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .