em·​body | \ im-ˈbä-dē How to pronounce embody (audio) \
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

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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 Taylor credits wigs with giving actors an extra snap of confidence to embody characters as animated as Michaels. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, "Regina Hall, Tate Taylor break down their 'mind-altering' wigs of Yuba County," 19 Feb. 2021 Dylan Larkin, a homegrown player who has come to embody the face of the rebuild, has been named the 37th captain in Detroit Red Wings history. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings name Dylan Larkin the team's 37th captain," 13 Jan. 2021 The work is a tender portrayal of maternity that Lutz believes may embody a religious response to the 14th-century outbreak of bubonic plague that killed 25 million, more than a third of Europe’s population. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Cleveland Museum of Art’s revelatory “Stories from Storage’’ exhibit brings hidden gems into the light," 7 Feb. 2021 Each guest room and villa have their own innate charm and fully embody resort-style living. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Best Room At... La Quinta Resort & Club," 11 Jan. 2021 Visual identity is part of the artistic statement: Looks embody not just moments but attitude, essence, and underlying culture. Ashley Simpson, Harper's BAZAAR, "R&B and Pop Stars Are Taking Ownership of Their Images Like Never Before," 24 Nov. 2020 But his internet appeal stems from his delivery: perfect sound bites that are easily edited, memeable and which embody the dry sarcasm that the internet loves. Kerry Flynn, CNN, "Why Pete Buttigieg's Fox News appearances keep going viral," 14 Oct. 2020 The forms and styles with which filmmakers embody experience and ideas lock into a viewer’s receptors, effecting not merely a transfer of information but an emotional, even an unconscious, transformation of the viewer—and, so, of the future. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Sixty-two Films That Shaped the Art of Documentary Filmmaking," 14 Oct. 2020 Juxtaposing different views of the same object was part of the Cubists’ arsenal, as was taking liberties with scale and perspective, to embody the shifting views of memory. William C. Agee, WSJ, "New American Movement," 25 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of embody

circa 1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for embody

Time Traveler

The first known use of embody was circa 1548

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Statistics for embody

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Embody.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embody. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce embody (audio) \
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.

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