em·​body | \ im-ˈbä-dē \
embodied; embodying

Definition of embody

transitive verb

1 : to give a body to (a spirit) : incarnate
2a : to deprive of spirituality
b : to make concrete and perceptible
3 : to cause to become a body or part of a body : incorporate
4 : to represent in human or animal form : personify men who greatly embodied the idealism of American life— A. M. Schlesinger born 1917

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from embody

embodier noun

Examples of embody in a Sentence

The legislature embodied a revenue provision in the new law. they must embody their ideas in substantial institutions if they are to survive

Recent Examples on the Web

While Feiping embodies the current zeitgeist of fashionable women in Asia, the Yeoh sisters undoubtedly represent the future. Harper's BAZAAR, "Crazy Rich Couture," 15 Aug. 2018 More recently, Ethiopians have been protesting against repressive treatment of the media and civil society, as embodied in Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism laws. Yohannes Y. Gedamu, Washington Post, "Did someone try to assassinate Ethiopia’s new prime minister? Here’s what you need to know.," 26 June 2018 Since the 1970s, Dubai has invested heavily in construction and infrastructure to create a global center for finance, real estate and tourism, as embodied in the Burj Khalifa skyscraper viewed through the Dubai Frame landmark. Bloomberg.com, "Bloomberg’s Week in Pictures," 21 June 2018 With just four musicians, his band filled the Bowl with slithering soul while his backup singers, the Hamiltones, embodied a sort-of Temptations 2000 vibe. Sean J. O'connell, latimes.com, "At Playboy Jazz Fest, a 17-year-old wonder, an 83-year-old master and tributes to Hef and Miles Davis," 10 June 2018 Gazidis wants progressive football at the Emirates to continue under the new boss while embodying the values of Arsenal. SI.com, "Next in Line: Mikel Arteta Emerges as Frontrunner to Take Over From Arsene Wenger at Arsenal," 15 May 2018 While every movement embodies collective leadership, not all campaigns are created equal. Leslie Crutchfield, Fortune, "Why the Best Leaders Give Their Power Away," 12 May 2018 His first 27 games with the team saw him shoot 42.8 percent from deep while embodying the defensive identity Brett Brown hoped to instill in his team. David Murphy, Philly.com, "Robert Covington is a shooter, so he never had doubt | David Murphy," 17 Mar. 2018 Some of them are angry; while embodying them, Orlandersmith can resemble a volcano. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Until the Flood': a rising tide of racism engulfs everyone," 17 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'embody.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of embody

circa 1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about embody

Dictionary Entries near embody








Statistics for embody

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embody

The first known use of embody was circa 1548

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for embody



English Language Learners Definition of embody

: to represent (something) in a clear and obvious way : to be a symbol or example of (something)
formal : to include (something) as a part or feature


em·​body | \ im-ˈbä-dē \
embodied; embodying

Kids Definition of embody

1 : to give form to The poet embodied her ideas in words.
2 : to represent in visible form The firefighters embodied courage during the disaster.
3 : to make something a body or system or part of a body or system The basic law of the United States is embodied in its constitution.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on embody

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with embody

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for embody

Spanish Central: Translation of embody

Nglish: Translation of embody for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embody for Arabic Speakers

Comments on embody

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


esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!