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 \ ˌan(t)-​thrə-​pə-​ˈmȯr-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce anthropomorphic (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 His imagination is a comic synesthesia, assigning anthropomorphic traits to colors, objects, and design flaws. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "The Otherworldly Comedy of Julio Torres," 21 Dec. 2020 There is nothing close to the anthropomorphic conflicts of interest that studded President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, such as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, or Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "How to Cover a Normal Cabinet," 1 Dec. 2020 The genders of the models are not specified anywhere on the site and symbols at each end of the scale look more like a sorcerer and an anthropomorphic bat than traditional codes for men’s and women’s. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Future of Retail Is Genderless," 25 Nov. 2020 At the entryway to the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, the monster basks in plain sight: Huma Bhabha roughly 13-foot-tall sculpture of a five-faced, anthropomorphic creature. Washington Post, "The Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden’s two newest works stir up dark associations," 17 Nov. 2020 Daniel isn’t the only anthropomorphic character feeling the strain of multiple crises. Meredith Blake Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "How 2020 rocked the gentle world of children’s TV like never before," 2 Nov. 2020 If there’s a cunning or devious anthropomorphic character to be had, chances are he’s a red fox. René A. Guzman,, "S.A.’s Common Critters: San Antonio’s gray foxes becoming more visible with urban sprawl," 13 Oct. 2020 Per the study, the anthropomorphic figure measures around 2.5 inches tall and one inch wide. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Demon, Immortalized in 2,700-Year-Old Assyrian Tablet, Was Thought to Cause Epilepsy," 3 Jan. 2020 Amid early morning’s orange light and purple shadows, anthropomorphic vehicles get to work dismantling what appears to be an old brick tenement. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: A Sequel to ‘Guess How Much I Love You’," 25 Sep. 2020

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

Greek anthrōpómorphos "having human form" (from anthrōpo- anthropo- + -morphos -morphous) + -ic entry 1

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The first known use of anthropomorphic was in 1802

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Last Updated

31 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anthropomorphic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for anthropomorphic


How to pronounce anthropomorphic (audio)

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

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