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

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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

Meanwhile, the malaise of the here and now is embodied by Hendrix's nemesis Breezy G (Loonie) and Doc's son Fuentes (Nor Domingo), a corrupt cop who controls the dealers in the neighborhood — including Hendrix's brother-in-law. Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Respeto': Film Review," 11 July 2018 Chief Justice John Roberts, for his part, would likely come to embody the ideological center of the nine-justice court. NBC News, "How Brett Kavanaugh could change the high court's balance of power," 10 July 2018 All the themes of Trump’s character and Administration were embodied in this wrenching calamity. Molly Ball, Time, "Trump Backed Down, But the Crisis at the Border Is Far From Over," 21 June 2018 The inherent contradictions of Los Angeles are neatly embodied at Helios House, a futuristic stainless-steel structure on Olympic Boulevard powered by solar panels and that incorporates such sustainable materials as recycled glass. Matt Jaffe, SFChronicle.com, "Green travel in (gasp!) Los Angeles is easier than you think," 19 June 2018 Other obsessions are embodied by a visionary 1972 image by Purvis Young (1943-2010), a vernacular icon, with rows of figures and angels against a lush red ground, and two enormous white horses, symbols, for Young, of power and freedom. Karen Wilkin, WSJ, "‘History Refused to Die’ Review: A Visual Equivalent of Jazz," 30 May 2018 And this perseverance has been embodied with the Red Wings, specifically in their time at the Joe. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings fans scoop up Joe Louis Arena chairs, slice of history," 15 May 2018 Domestic stability is embodied by Perry (Joey C. Pelletier) and Arthur (Keith Foster), who have been a couple for a decade and a half. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, "A moving journey in Zeitgeist’s ‘Love! Valour! Compassion!’," 7 May 2018 The strongest evidence that youth empowerment works was embodied in two presentations by Asante's own sons. Joan Hunt, Courant Community, "Youth Empowerment Works In Rocky Hill," 27 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.

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First Known Use of embody

circa 1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for embody

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embody

The first known use of embody was circa 1548

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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)

: 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.

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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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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