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 This was the Dark Mirror embodied, one side of the glass transparent and the other blacked out. Barton Gellman, Wired, "Inside the NSA’s Secret Tool for Mapping Your Social Network," 24 May 2020 The south Austin venue where Texas progressive country music embodied by Willie Nelson was nurtured closed after a New Year's Eve 1980 party and was torn down to make way for an office building. Houston Chronicle, "Texas venue that launched Janis Joplin's career set to close," 21 Apr. 2020 This element was embodied by the Latin word caritas. Matthew Gabriele, Time, "Christian Groups That Resist Public-Health Guidelines Are Forgetting a Key Part of the Religion's History," 20 Apr. 2020 That spirit is embodied by designers Ray and Charles Eames who road-tripped to California for their honeymoon after getting married in Chicago in 1941. Sunset Magazine, "Meet Sunset’s Emerging Designers of the West 2020," 10 Mar. 2020 The communal sense of urgency may be best embodied by Dwayne Sutton, the gritty senior forward who plays each possession with high purpose, selflessness and smarts. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "It hasn't been easy, but Louisville basketball should take a bow for this season's success," 6 Mar. 2020 The stock-market operator’s big ambitions for growth, embodied by its $14.5 billion acquisition of the Refinitiv terminal and data business, have generated a lot of excitement. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "London Stock Exchange’s Future Depends on Brussels," 28 Feb. 2020 The traditional conservation community, embodied by the Land Trust Alliance, the Washington, D.C., association of nonprofit land trusts, began pressing the IRS to crack down nearly a decade ago. Peter Elkind, ProPublica, "The IRS Tried to Crack Down on Rich People Using an “Abusive” Tax Deduction. It Hasn’t Gone So Well.," 3 Jan. 2020 Corbyn had taken over the party leadership in 2015 and dragged it to the left in a rejection of the kind of centrism embodied by three-term Prime Minister Tony Blair. Fox News, "Corbyn's bloodbath defeat in UK election sends 'catastrophic warning' to 2020 Dems," 13 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for embody

Time Traveler

The first known use of embody was circa 1548

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Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Embody.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embody. Accessed 4 Jun. 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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