objectify

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Siri is forced to enact the role of a woman to be objectified while apologizing for not being human enough to register embarrassment. Noam Cohen, WIRED, "Why Siri and Alexa Weren’t Built to Smack Down Harassment," 6 June 2019 Some feminists were critical of all imagery seen as objectifying women, while others thought such imagery could be reclaimed, that women could be represented sensually and those expressions could also be considered feminists acts. Dvorameyers, Longreads, "The Gymnast’s Position," 5 June 2019 And many of the female leads have been raped, serially abused, objectified, or a wicked combination of such. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "The Women of Game of Thrones Deserve Better Than This Season," 8 May 2019 Boys that aren’t super masculine, don’t express themselves assertively and aggressively, or boys that don’t make objectifying comments about girls often get teased or called homophobic slurs by other boys, Dr. Brown says. Tamekia Reece, Good Housekeeping, "An Age-by-Age Guide to Raising Boys, According to Child Development Experts," 30 Apr. 2019 Another sermon has stirred up questions about whether Patterson’s objectifies women. Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post, "Southern Baptist leader who advised abused women not to divorce doubles down, says he has nothing to apologize for," 4 May 2018 At first, Swiped comes in with the fairly easy-to-argue standpoint that, yes, dating apps lead to a hookup culture in which women are objectified, which is both stressful, unhealthy, and kind of humiliating. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "HBO's 'Swiped' Argues That Silicon Valley Must Fix the Dating Mess It Created," 10 Sep. 2018 And for decades, that beauty standard has been warped and objectified by commercial forces outside of the home. Christine Michel Carter, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Challenges of Raising a Black Girl to Feel Beautiful," 18 Oct. 2018 But designers have to walk a fine line between not appearing to victim-blame by proposing more modest looks and not appearing to objectify women. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "This Is Big: The New Oversize Silhouette," 17 Oct. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of objectify

circa 1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for objectify

object entry 1 + -ify

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about objectify

Statistics for objectify

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for objectify

The first known use of objectify was circa 1837

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for objectify

objectify

verb

English Language Learners Definition of objectify

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on objectify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with objectify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for objectify

Nglish: Translation of objectify for Spanish Speakers

Comments on objectify

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

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!