an·​thro·​po·​mor·​phic ˌan(t)-thrə-pə-ˈmȯr-fik How to pronounce anthropomorphic (audio)
: described or thought of as having a human form or human attributes
anthropomorphic deities
stories involving anthropomorphic animals
: ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things
anthropomorphic supernaturalism
anthropomorphic beliefs about nature
anthropomorphically adverb

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As word lovers, we are endlessly fascinated by the uniqueness and complexity of human language. Many species use sounds and gestures to communicate with one another, but the ability to speak in full sentences, to share abstract ideas, and to write and tell stories is distinctly anthropic. Brilliant though dogs may be, they can’t verbalize their hopes and dreams. That is, unless those dogs are anthropomorphic—a trait common in works of fiction. From chatty chiweenies to tangoing tapirs, depictions of anthropomorphic animals abound thanks to our creative superpowers.

Examples of anthropomorphic in a Sentence

a story in which the characters are anthropomorphic animals
Recent Examples on the Web This mission is undertaken with the help of a magical anthropomorphic wishing star that falls from the heavens, beeping, whizzing and giggling, in the process giving Asha’s animal sidekick, an adorable baby goat in pajamas (Alan Tudyk), the gift of human speech. Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2023 All this is accomplished with the help of a whizzing, anthropomorphic wishing star. Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 Produced by Ulysses Films, the original IP is set in a world of anthropomorphic bicycles. Ed Meza, Variety, 13 Oct. 2023 Illumination’s film aims to capture the radiant Mushroom Kingdom, a place where pretty much anything can happen and even torpedo-like projectiles have anthropomorphic qualities. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2023 Despite Silicon Valley’s positioning of AI assistants as a boost for productivity, the Bard update is a long way from resembling the anthropomorphic AI in Her. WIRED, 7 Oct. 2023 Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie This Pixar film is set in a world inhabited by anthropomorphic elements of nature—water, fire, air, and earth. Lauren Brown West-Rosenthal, Parents, 6 Oct. 2023 Big Spring Cave is a prehistoric Amerindian ceremonial site that dates back to 600 A.D. and showcases many anthropomorphic petroglyphs alongside freshwater springs. Lindsay Cohn, Travel + Leisure, 26 Sep. 2023 Chueh uses anthropomorphic characters — such as cats and bears — to explore complex themes of loneliness, depression and human existence. Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'anthropomorphic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of anthropomorphic was in 1802


Dictionary Entries Near anthropomorphic

Cite this Entry

“Anthropomorphic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

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