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

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 So the Miss America pageant is going to finally stop objectifying women by no longer judging them on their physical appearance, but rather assessing them on the basis of their words, their character and their goals. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "Miss America Gets to Dress Herself," 9 June 2018 The world’s greatest superpower is under the control of a fragile and insecure narcissist known for objectifying women, bragging about his wealth and turning every personal slight into a full-blown national crisis. Rachel Held Evans, Washington Post, "The Bible is literature for the resistance," 12 July 2018 As critics have noted of shows like Game of Thrones and Westworld, there’s a difference between depicting the realities of violence experienced by women and making that violence objectifying, exploitative, dehumanizing, or normalizing. Anna Silman, The Cut, "Sharp Objects," 11 July 2018 His remarks to Parker as well as the others are objectifying and the types of comments that make women feel less than human. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Morgan Freeman’s Apology Statement Shows Us #MeToo Has A Long Road Ahead," 26 May 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.

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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

The first known use of objectify was circa 1837

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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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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).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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