ob·​jec·​ti·​fy | \ əb-ˈjek-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce objectify (audio) \
objectified; objectifying

Definition of objectify

transitive verb

1 : to treat as an object or cause to have objective reality They believe that beauty pageants objectify women.
2 : to give expression to (something, such as an abstract notion, feeling, or ideal) in a form that can be experienced by others It is the essence of the fairy tale to objectify differing facets of the child's emotional experience …— John Updike

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Other Words from objectify

objectification \ əb-​ˌjek-​tə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce objectification (audio) \ noun

Examples of objectify in a Sentence

She says beauty pageants objectify women.
Recent Examples on the Web How can a woman who chooses to entertain in that fashion suggest she’s being objectified? Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: Not quite 10 things from Kansas City Chiefs win in Super Bowl LIV," 3 Feb. 2020 The show draws on unseen works from both public and private collections around the world to reshape perceptions of these individuals as creative artists and poets who advocated for their own stories to be told rather than simply objectified muses. Smithsonian Magazine, "The Women Behind the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood," 22 Jan. 2020 Earlier this year, the singer was objectified on Twitter when a picture of her chest surfaced on the site. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Billie Eilish Slams Trolls Who Say She’d “Be So Much Hotter” if She Wore “Normal” Clothes," 16 Sep. 2019 Speaking on Ashley Graham's podcast, Pretty Big Deal, Ratajkowski candidly spoke about navigating the thin line between personally claiming her own sexiness and being objectified through a patriarchal lens. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Emily Ratajkowski Tells Ashley Graham About Her "Complicated Relationship" with Sexiness," 20 Nov. 2019 Madison Avenue’s creative output has come under greater scrutiny in recent years, including criticism of ads that objectify women. Suzanne Vranica, WSJ, "AARP to Take On Ageism, Enlists Former Ad Executive Cindy Gallop," 1 Oct. 2018 There is never a sense that Ramona or any of the dancers at the club are being objectified. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hustlers Weaponizes the Female Gaze," 16 Sep. 2019 In a video, he was seen objectifying a teenage girl and criticizing the physical appearance of female seminary students. Washington Post, "The cost of coming forward: 1 survivor’s life after #MeToo," 22 Nov. 2019 Reducing Native women to a fetish is an oppressive, objectifying practice grounded in misogyny, exploitation and the promotion of false, negative stereotypes. Ruth Hopkins, Teen Vogue, "Celebrating Native American Heritage Month: Dos and Donts," 12 Nov. 2019

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

circa 1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for objectify

object entry 1 + -ify

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Time Traveler for objectify

Time Traveler

The first known use of objectify was circa 1837

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Statistics for objectify

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Objectify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objectify. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for objectify


How to pronounce objectify (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of objectify

disapproving : to treat (someone) as an object rather than as a person

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More from Merriam-Webster on objectify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for objectify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with objectify

Nglish: Translation of objectify for Spanish Speakers

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