an·​thro·​po·​mor·​phic | \ˌan(t)-thrə-pə-ˈmȯr-fik \

Definition of anthropomorphic 

1 : described or thought of as having a human form or human attributes anthropomorphic deities stories involving anthropomorphic animals

2 : ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things anthropomorphic supernaturalism anthropomorphic beliefs about nature

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Other Words from anthropomorphic

anthropomorphically \ -​fi-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Did You Know?

Anthropomorphic comes from the Late Latin word anthropomorphus, which itself traces to a Greek term birthed from the roots "anthrōp-" (meaning "human being") and "-morphos" ("-morphous"). Those ancient Greek roots have given form and personality to many English words. "Anthrōp-" relatives include "anthropic" ("relating to human beings or the period of their existence on earth"), "anthropocentric" ("considering human beings the center of the universe"), "anthropoid" (an ape), and "anthropology" ("the study of human beings and their ancestors"). Derivatives of "-morphos" often end in "-morphism," as in "polymorphism" ("the quality or state of existing in or assuming different forms"), or "-morphic," as in "biomorphic" ("resembling the forms of living organisms").

Examples of anthropomorphic in a Sentence

a story in which the characters are anthropomorphic animals

Recent Examples on the Web

Two of the figures embrace, and their bodies interpenetrate to form a new anthropomorphic — no, feminamorphic — tree. Sharon Mizota,, "Review: At the Korean DMZ, reunification through one artist's strange lens," 7 July 2018 Characters dressed as popular Fortnite characters, including a man donning an anthropomorphic tomato suit, wandered the lot taking pictures with fans. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite’s celebrity tournament felt like a trial run for Epic’s grand e-sports ambitions," 17 June 2018 These anthropomorphic designs were luxurious and fantastical in precisely the way that makes couture so wonderful. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "What Paris Couture and Jonathan Franzen Have in Common," 6 July 2018 Movies like Her and Ex Machina depict a near future in which anthropomorphic artificial intelligences manipulate our emotions and even commit violence against us. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How science fiction is training us to ignore the real threats posed by AI," 20 June 2018 Perhaps our ambivalence stems from the animal’s strangely anthropomorphic quality., "Last Word: The raccoon that rose above," 15 June 2018 Two will be new and details haven’t been revealed; the third will be the former The Quest for Chi boat ride, which took guests through a kingdom of anthropomorphic animals and featured water cannons, both on the boats and on shore. Marjie Lambert, miamiherald, "Tower of Terror too scary? More kid-friendly rides are coming to Florida theme parks," 14 June 2018 Ghost ultimately earned a meek $19 million in its opening weekend, beat out by a talking baby and anthropomorphic houseware. Yohana Desta, HWD, "Ghost in the Shell," 5 Apr. 2017 Leslie is, again, a rather buxom pig in an anthropomorphic world of goats, mice and other animals. Will Nevin,, "TBT #39.2: 'Unnatural' love and app-based murder coming this summer from Image Comics," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anthropomorphic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of anthropomorphic

1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anthropomorphic

Late Latin anthropomorphus of human form, from Greek anthrōpomorphos, from anthrōp- + -morphos -morphous

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The first known use of anthropomorphic was in 1802

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More Definitions for anthropomorphic



English Language Learners Definition of anthropomorphic

: described or thought of as being like human beings in appearance, behavior, etc.

: considering animals, objects, etc., as having human qualities

More from Merriam-Webster on anthropomorphic

Britannica English: Translation of anthropomorphic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on anthropomorphic

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to express warning or disapproval

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