Etymology
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emulate (v.)

"to strive to equal or excel in qualities or actions," 1580s, a back-formation from emulation, or else from Latin aemulatus, past participle of aemulari "to rival." Related: Emulated; emulating; emulable; emulative.

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*aim- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to copy." 

It forms all or part of: emulate; emulation; emulous;  image; imaginary; imagination; imaginative; imagine; imago; imitable; imitate; imitative; imitator; inimitable.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin imago "image," aemulus "emulous," imitari "to copy, portray, imitate;" Hittite himma- "imitation, substitute."

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rival (v.)

"stand in or enter into competition with another; strive to equal, emulate," c. 1600, from rival (n.). Related: Rivaled; rivaling.

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