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

Some of these documents are famous among art lovers, others more obscure, but all share the distinction of embodying major inflection points in the evolution of art worldwide. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "Cate Blanchett Dons 13 Guises in This Daring Art Installation," 26 July 2019 But his reliance on charter flights contrasts sharply with his image as a Rust Belt mayor who embodies frugality and Midwestern modesty. Brian Slodysko, Indianapolis Star, "Pete Buttigieg leads 2020 Democrats in spending on private flights," 25 July 2019 Turns out, Tom Hanks was put on this earth 63 years ago for the sole purpose of embodying Fred McFeely Rogers. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Tom Hanks In The New Mr. Rogers Trailer Will Make You Weepy," 23 July 2019 Her arch use of Instagram might best embody the ephemeral, cheeky spirit of IG stories and often provides valuable insights into what the headlines of tomorrow might be. Cady Lang, Time, "The 25 Accounts to Follow For the Best Instagram Stories Right Now," 4 June 2019 For embodying the Franciscan virtues of humility, service and integrity, among others, Danny was recently recognized with an honor never before given to any Golden Knight — the St. Francis High School President’s Coin. Sara Cardine, latimes.com, "St. Francis junior earns newly minted honor for bringing Franciscan virtues to life," 3 June 2019 Profit is the by-product of embodying your company’s purpose. Tom Cooney And Crystal Faulkner, Cincinnati.com, "BusinessWise: Reignite the purpose and passion in your business," 15 July 2019 As children, yogis, and dancers intuitively know, our minds are embodied. Vanessa Chang, WIRED, "How Phone Taps and Swipes Train Us to Be Better Consumers," 10 July 2019 The finished painting embodies not only what is physically on a kitchen table, but also the narrative and action that takes place at the table. San Diego Union-Tribune, "A the Lux Art Institute, Carolyn Case seeing what sticks," 9 July 2019

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

12 Aug 2019

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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)
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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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).


a period when something is suspended

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