an·​thro·​po·​mor·​phize | \ ˌan(t)-thrə-pə-ˈmȯr-ˌfīz How to pronounce anthropomorphize (audio) \
anthropomorphized; anthropomorphizing

Definition of anthropomorphize

transitive verb

: to attribute human form or personality to

intransitive verb

: to attribute human form or personality to things not human

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Other Words from anthropomorphize

anthropomorphization \ ˌan(t)-​thrə-​pə-​ˌmȯr-​fə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce anthropomorphization (audio) \ noun

Examples of anthropomorphize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many cartoonishly anthropomorphize the virus, giving them googly eyes and emoji-like faces. Washington Post, "Covid-shaped cakes and cupcakes are popping up in fine-dining restaurants, bakeries and home kitchens around the world," 9 July 2020 Similar anthropomorphized food fads followed — from Morris the Cat, the finicky spokes-feline for 9Lives, to Snausagesin a Blanket. Roy Rivenburg, Los Angeles Times, "Is that a cricket in the dog bowl? There’s no shortage of exotic and luxury pet food," 8 Apr. 2020 Many trainers take a dim view of babying and otherwise anthropomorphizing our pets. Peter Haldeman, New York Times, "The Secret Price of Pets," 4 July 2018 For those of us who tend to anthropomorphize our cars, Hey Mercedes might lead to a whole new level of automotive codependence. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "Watch As We Show How Hey Mercedes Voice Assistant Gives Your Car Attitude," 23 Mar. 2020 On the one hand, people often anthropomorphize Spot, as evidenced by the controversy over the Spot-kicking video. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Boston Dynamics' robot dog is now available for select customers," 25 Sep. 2019 Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o’s narration anthropomorphizes the animals to heighten the emotion. Melinda Newman, Billboard, "Scoring 'Serengeti': Goldfrapp's Will Gregory on Writing for Baboons, Hyenas and Lions," 16 Aug. 2019 When those devices have a face or a voice, our impulse is to further anthropomorphize them like our human relationships. Pamela Pavliscak, Quartz, "Forget AI ethics—treat technology like a new relationship instead," 2 Aug. 2019 Just Can’t Wait to Be King,’ the director does a fantastic job of reimagining this sequence, tipping his hat to certain memorable shots without anthropomorphizing the animals too much. Joey Nolfi,, "Critics softly purr in favor of 'unnecessary' but 'gorgeous' Lion King remake," 11 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anthropomorphize.' 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 anthropomorphize

1825, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for anthropomorphize

anthropomorph(ic) or anthropomorph(ism) + -ize

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Time Traveler for anthropomorphize

Time Traveler

The first known use of anthropomorphize was in 1825

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Statistics for anthropomorphize

Last Updated

18 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anthropomorphize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on anthropomorphize

Nglish: Translation of anthropomorphize for Spanish Speakers

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