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 objectify (audio) \ noun

Examples of objectify in a Sentence

She says beauty pageants objectify women.
Recent Examples on the Web Arguing that beauty contests objectify women, protesters interrupted the live broadcast of the pageant. Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Thursday: ‘A Million Little Things’; MLB returns," 31 Mar. 2021 Its bloggers and radio-show personalities routinely objectify female athletes and sports reporters, make rape jokes, and use anti-Semitic language. Maggie Mertens, The Atlantic, "What the NWHL-Barstool Drama Reveals About Women’s Sports," 27 Feb. 2021 Halo and other smart devices objectify people, treating them as little more than a collection of impulses and motives that can be played upon. Firmin Debrabander, The New Republic, "We’re Outsourcing Our Self-Awareness to Silicon Valley," 24 Dec. 2020 Where the men fragmented the female body to objectify it, the women, like Belanger, worked with more of a wink. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Sculptor Genesis Belanger Offers a Timely Reflection on Loss (and a Clever Critique of Capitalism) in a New Exhibition," 21 Sep. 2020 Instead, create guidelines to objectify and standardize job performance expectations. Susan Alban, Fortune, "How to be a fair-pay CEO," 25 Aug. 2020 Outfits that make fun of people's size, objectify human beings, or otherwise make light of a person's lived experience are all bad ideas. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "15 Offensive Halloween Costumes That Shouldn't Exist," 26 June 2020 Clare Crawley doesn’t appreciate being aggressively objectified by Juan Pablo? Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "Looking Back, Bachelor Contestants Weren’t The Only Ones Fooled By Juan Pablo’s Two-Word Catchphrase," 1 Apr. 2020 In huge swathes of Indian society, especially in rural areas, women continue to be either objectified or confined to the four walls of their homes. Vedika Sud, CNN, "OPINION: Four men have been executed over a rape and murder. It's no victory for women," 19 Mar. 2020

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

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Objectify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objectify. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of objectify

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

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