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 The painting is objectified, neither window nor mirror on outer or inner worlds, but a circumstance all its own. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Jay DeFeo show offers a provocative sketch of a California artist finding her voice," 17 Aug. 2019 The whole point of the book was to turn the male gaze on its head and be the one looking out at the world — the female gaze — not being objectified by it. Sarah Menkedick, Longreads, "The First Book," 24 July 2019 Despite her efforts to avoid sexualizing herself, Twitter trolls objectified Billie Eilish, sparking outrage from her fans. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "Billie Eilish fans shut down Twitter trolls for objectifying the 17-year-old artist," 24 June 2019 This gets at a major misconception about female sexuality: People mistakenly think the line between being objectified and empowered is in the eye of the beholder. Andrea Bartz, Marie Claire, "Sometimes I Exploit My Sexuality and I'm Not Sorry," 25 Feb. 2019 The true challenge of assigning stars is trying to objectify an inherently subjective experience in a meaningful way. Arizona Republic Food & Dining Team, azcentral, "We aren't getting rid of stars in restaurant reviews. But they're getting a major makeover," 9 July 2019 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

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

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


How to pronounce objectify (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of objectify

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

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

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).


to spread as a report or rumor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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