in·​car·​na·​tion | \ ˌin-(ˌ)kär-ˈnā-shən \

Definition of incarnation

1a(1) : the embodiment of a deity or spirit in some earthly form
(2) capitalized : the union of divinity with humanity in Jesus Christ
b : a concrete or actual form of a quality or concept especially : a person showing a trait or typical character to a marked degree she is the incarnation of goodness
2 : the act of incarnating : the state of being incarnate
3 : a particular physical form or state : version in another incarnation he might be a first vice-president— Walter Teller TV and movie incarnations of the story

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Other Words from incarnation

incarnational \ ˌin-​(ˌ)kär-​ˈnā-​shə-​nᵊl , -​shnəl \ adjective

Examples of incarnation in a Sentence

the doctrine of the Incarnation she is the very incarnation of grace and tactfulness

Recent Examples on the Web

The business, which went bankrupt in previous incarnations in 2005 and 2009, may still find a way to restructure its debt out of court. Lauren Coleman-lochner,, "Winn-Dixie and Tops Owners Are Said to Prepare for Bankruptcy," 17 Feb. 2018 The history page on The Taverne of Richfield's website says Serena Raybould bought the restaurant Oct. 13, 2010, though the restaurant has had previous incarnations. Marc Bona,, "The Taverne Of Richfield restaurant closes," 7 Feb. 2018 The modern incarnations of the series have stuttered a bit in their character construction, though. Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Shadow of the Tomb Raider review: Fighting for my life and loving it," 10 Sep. 2018 Touring bassist Jack Bates joined the Pumpkins for their Tonight Show performance, though classic lineup bassist D’arcy Wretzky isn’t part of the current incarnation. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Smashing Pumpkins Performed 'Zero' and 'Solara' on 'Tonight Show': Watch," 12 June 2018 The Real Deal: All kinds of new details have started to appear about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the theme park incarnation of the franchise, set to open next year at Disney’s California and Florida resorts. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "Cantina Talk: That Big Solo Cameo Was a Last-Minute Decision," 4 June 2018 What about Holocaust denial or whatever modern incarnation of phrenology posits that black people lack sufficient intellect to vote? Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Why let the Klan march at a private historically black college? ‘This is not a First Amendment thing, man.’," 31 May 2018 The current incarnation of the Miyumi Project, which Aoki will be fronting for this performance, features reedist Mwata Bowden, vocalist-percussionist Coco Elysses, drummer Avreeayl Ra, saxophonist Edward Wilkerson Jr. and cellist Jamie Kempkers. Howard Reich,, "From Goines to Freeman, a jazzy holiday weekend," 21 May 2018 The most recent incarnation of the concept came in 2011, when Blackhawks launched as part of DC’s line-wide reboot, The New 52. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Blackhawk': Who Is Steven Spielberg's DC Comics Team?," 17 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incarnation.' 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 incarnation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for incarnation

The first known use of incarnation was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of incarnation

: one of a series of lives that a person is believed to have had in the past in some religions

: a person who represents a quality or idea

the Incarnation in the Christian religion : the belief in Jesus Christ as both God and a human being

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Comments on incarnation

What made you want to look up incarnation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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