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 The series was an international hit, but few foreign viewers recognised that the cops embody Danish and Swedish stereotypes of each other. The Economist, "Borderline personalities Covid-19 is scrambling Scandinavian stereotypes," 4 July 2020 The damage highlighted symbolic spaces and structures that embody imbalances of class and race. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Could George Floyd’s death while restrained by white police spark a new civil rights era in Cleveland and other U.S. cities?," 4 June 2020 The play itself has come to embody the process of unlearning. Brandon Tensley And Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Revisiting 'Hamilton' and power of unlearning what we think we know," 8 July 2020 Four young dancers -- two men and two women -- embody the masculine and feminine sides of a Parisian woman and an American man in a relationship in New York City. John Benson, cleveland, "‘Miss Juneteenth’ and ‘Quarantine Cat Video Film Festival’ top this week’s streaming movies in Cleveland Cinemas and Cinematheque virtual screening rooms," 1 July 2020 Plenty of examples of classic shows give a limited scope of what characters of color can be portrayed as, while allowing white counterparts to embody a variety of identities. Alex Darus, cleveland, "13 TV shows that break racial stereotypes," 6 July 2020 Consider this your 10-course meal of delicious grooves, salivating-inducing riddims, and artists who embody an authenticity that feels like home cooking. Essence, "You're Cordially Invited To Listen To A Special Dinner Party Playlist," 3 July 2020 Quantum networks can instead use quantum bits, or qubits, which exploit quantum effects to embody 0 and 1 at the same time. Dhananjay Khadilkar, Scientific American, "‘Hybrid’ Quantum Networking Demonstrated for First Time," 2 July 2020 If Jinx Fairchild, straining to express his soul, is a stand-in for Oatesian principles, then Mrs. Dunphy, the senior-year English teacher, could be said to embody official literary standards. Leo Robson, The New Yorker, "The Unruly Genius of Joyce Carol Oates," 29 June 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

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Embody.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embody. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for embody


How to pronounce embody (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for embody

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with embody

Spanish Central: Translation of embody

Nglish: Translation of embody for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embody for Arabic Speakers

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