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

The framework is already there, as are a multitude of new characters embodying different takes and new points of view. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is dazzling, hilarious, and unique," 14 Dec. 2018 Just like its e-commerce platform, the brick and mortar will have a mixture of styles and price points, embodying the brands philosophy that every person has their own style and should be able to create that in their home at multiple levels. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "You'll Want To Live In One Kings Lane's New Flagship Store," 2 Nov. 2018 Here was the Neolithic transition embodied in one person. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 Staycation embodies that wince-inducing sense of artifice. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Made-Up Travel Words We Love to Hate," 18 July 2018 In the minds of many, the institution still embodies the very antithesis of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Roy S. Johnson, AL.com, "Racist videos 'not my first Armageddon,' says UA diversity, equity, inclusion VP," 15 Mar. 2018 Such a weapon would embody Chinese President Xi Jinping's campaign to enhance and modernize his country's armed forces, challenging even the U.S.'s technological lead. Tom O'connor, Newsweek, "China Says It Is Testing World's First Railgun At Sea, Confirming Leaked Photos of Electromagnetic Weapon," 14 Mar. 2018 Joe is tough, powerful on the mic and works a physical style that embodies his character. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "The Key Takeaways From WWE's Money in the Bank," 18 June 2018 Those eyes belong to Tamara de Lempicka, the Polish painter the search engine is honoring with a Doodle that embodies Art Deco style, which Lempicka helped define. refinery29.com, "Google Honors Tamara de Lempicka, A Leading Painter Of The Roaring Twenties," 16 May 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

14 Jan 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)

: 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).


to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

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!