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

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 Over the weekend a team of Cleveland.com staffers sifted through the entries with the unenviable task of choosing the 10 pets that best embody the Buckeye spirit. Brenda Cain And Yadi Rodriguez - Cleveland.com, cleveland, 14 Sep. 2022 In that spirit, Fukada has come to embody the 21st century Japanese spirit of French new wave director Eric Rohmer. Patrick Frater, Variety, 1 Sep. 2022 Len embraced and came to embody Kansas City and the people that call it home. CBS News, 24 Aug. 2022 The battle to accept, to embody that spirit is not easy. Jeffrey Gantz, BostonGlobe.com, 14 May 2022 More than 50 people inched along heel to toe, in an act that appeared to embody the quiet spirit of Buddhist meditation in a space where Americans often bring noisy controversy. Washington Post, 30 Apr. 2022 Joyce shares her love of idols—if Holmes sought to embody the spirit of Steve Jobs, Joyce daydreams about befriending Gloria Steinem—as well as her self-assurance. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 22 Mar. 2022 The plant is said to embody the spirit of a harsh and loving patriarch that confronts an individual during their hallucinations. Jonathan Reiss, Rolling Stone, 10 May 2021 While the history is rich, today this destination is bursting with color and life with new restaurants and vibrant shops that embody the spirit of Black pride. Noel Cody, Essence, 2 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of embody

circa 1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of embody was circa 1548

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Last Updated

21 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Embody.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embody. Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for embody


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on embody

Nglish: Translation of embody for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embody for Arabic Speakers


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