an·​thro·​po·​mor·​phic | \ ˌan(t)-thrə-pə-ˈmȯr-fik How to pronounce anthropomorphic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce anthropomorphically (audio) \ 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

Higgs-kun is an anthropomorphic Higgs Boson particle who teaches schoolchildren about the International Linear Collider (while advocating that the site be built in northeast Japan’s Iwate prefecture). Corinne Purtill, Quartzy, "The English-speaking internet’s best guide to Japanese mascots," 8 June 2019 In Jewish folklore, golems are anthropomorphic figures animated by magic, often depicted as large troll-like creatures made from clay or mud. Ferris Jabr, Harper's magazine, "The Story of Storytelling," 10 Mar. 2019 The anthropomorphic hedgehog who can run at incredible speeds is one of the most famous video-game characters of all time. Patrick Cooley,, "Why a 'Sonic the Hedgehog' movie is a terrible idea," 21 Feb. 2018 The colorful, anthropomorphic characters in the collection are equal parts Haas Brothers' creativity and L’Objet elegance. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "L'Objet Launches Haas Brothers Tableware Collection," 11 Mar. 2019 In compensation, a team from MIT offers the Persuasive Electric Vehicle, a whimsically anthropomorphic object designed to be as adorable as a puppy. Michael J. Lewis, WSJ, "‘The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility’ Review: Future Imperfect," 10 Jan. 2019 Below this structure is a pair of anthropomorphic columns, one set at the top of a flight of steps, the other on checkerboard tile. Cecil Beaton, Vogue, "Welcome In 2019 With a DIY Art Project, Courtesy of Vogue and Salvador Dalí," 31 Dec. 2018 Conclusion: Woodland whimsy Root’s odd combination of anthropomorphic creatures in a tense political situation is immediately gripping. Charlie Theel, Ars Technica, "Root is a terrific—and fully asymmetric—woodland wargame," 29 Sep. 2018 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

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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Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for anthropomorphic

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

What made you want to look up anthropomorphic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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