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 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 That’s more real-life historical and geographical context than most films on this list, but of course, there is a magical catch: Marco has been transformed into an anthropomorphic pig. Nick Romano,, "Studio Ghibli: A beginner's guide through the worlds of Spirited Away, Mononoke, and beyond," 24 Dec. 2019 The closest thing to a human passenger on-board was an anthropomorphic dummy named Rosie—after the iconic Rosie the Riveter character from the World War II posters, who encouraged women to enter the workforce while the men fought the war. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Boeing Starliner's Troubled Flight May Mean More Delays in Commercial Crew Missions," 20 Dec. 2019 Indeed, the Gudimallam linga of Chittoor district in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has an erect phallus on which an image of a standing Shiva is carved, a remarkable merging of Shiva’s aniconic and anthropomorphic forms. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, "How the Indian icon Nataraja danced his way from ancient history to modern physics," 18 Dec. 2019 When President Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016, an anthropomorphic bubble-tea mascot danced at her inauguration. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Taiwan’s tea party aims to burst Beijing’s one-China bubble," 15 Dec. 2019 The anthropomorphic layout of the dial and push buttons provide the show with its main publicity image. Ross Rudesch Harley, Quartz, "Why we geek out over sleek interface designs," 14 Dec. 2019 In 2015, Youngbuk designed and built floor-to-ceiling indoor rock-climbing walls to envelop sculptures of anthropomorphic white obelisks in a gallery at one of New York’s trendiest art museums. Anna Ben Yehuda Rahmanan, Popular Mechanics, "How Brooklyn's Boldest Custom-Fabricators Execute Projects on a Massive Scale," 11 Dec. 2019 By the end of Frozen 2, Elsa gets a major upgrade from Queen of Arendelle to Queen of the Elements, reigning over her fire salamander, water horse, anthropomorphic gust of wind, and earth giants. Marcus Jones,, "Does water have memory? And 4 other questions from Frozen 2," 3 Dec. 2019 For the past three years, Benin has been officially asking France back for the return of anthropomorphic (half human-half animal) statues that were looted during the sacking of the Abomey place in 1892. Ciku Kimeria, Quartz Africa, "The battle to get Europe to return thousands of Africa’s stolen artifacts is getting complicated," 29 Nov. 2019

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

30 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Anthropomorphic.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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

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).


to insert between existing elements

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