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

Bill Skarsgard stars as Pennywise, the creepy-clown incarnation of the title creature, while Jaeden Lieberher plays the ringleader of the local kids. Ed Stockly,, "Saturday's TV highlights and weekend talk shows: 'Ransom' on CBS," 30 June 2018 The racket, at least in its current incarnation, is on its last legs. New York Times, "Selling MetroCard Swipes Remains Illegal, and a Way of Life," 17 June 2018 The 2018 incarnation of the festival originally came to Charlotte on May 26, when Sturgill Simpson, Old Crow Medicine Show, Wild Feathers and Mitchell Lee performed ahead of what was to be a night-capping set by Nelson. Théoden Janes, charlotteobserver, "Willie Nelson reveals new lineup for makeup show, and one of them is a very big deal," 11 June 2018 In its current incarnation, the Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas offers a mix of traditional Caribbean charm with up-to-the-minute amenities and resort features. Mark Rogers, USA TODAY, "Honeymoon guide: Romantic resorts in the Bahamas," 9 Mar. 2018 By pivoting to an entirely new incarnation of Ant-Man and Wasp, the Marvel movie universe can avoid Pym’s baggage., "Ant-Man & The Wasp Have A Disturbing Incident Of Domestic Abuse In Their Past," 5 July 2018 Teixeira's Octavio is an especially memorable incarnation of banal evil, a loathsome creep whose sociopathic tendencies are exaggerated to a highly amusing degree. Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Cannibal Club' ('O clube dos canibais'): Film Review | Rotterdam 2018," 5 Feb. 2018 Some create clones of their previous incarnations and stick them all in one surreal music video., "Taylor Swift Is A Low-Key Freak, Says Lena Dunham," 11 July 2018 Its modern-day incarnation had its origins in the 1800s when a West Virginia woman by the name of Ann Reeves Jarvis began forming clubs through which mothers could help other mothers learn to better parent their children. John D'anna, azcentral, "On Father's Day, dads don't need (or want) you to go through the motions," 15 June 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

7 Nov 2018

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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 express warning or disapproval

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