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

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 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

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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Statistics for objectify

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for objectify

The first known use of objectify was circa 1837

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More Definitions for objectify



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).


something desired as essential

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