ob·​jec·​ti·​fy | \əb-ˈjek-tə-ˌfī \
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 \ noun

Examples of objectify in a Sentence

She says beauty pageants objectify women.

Recent Examples on the Web

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 While women have long been - and still are - objectified for their looks and appearance, that is a serious but different topic. Liz Bentley /, NBC News, "Your Look Matters – Is it enhancing or hindering your value," 1 June 2018 Women have been objectified for millennia and this city has played its part. Rick Kogan, chicagotribune.com, "Stormy Daniels is coming to the Admiral Theatre — a moment to talk about sex and this city," 31 May 2018 One is an environmental crisis, born of our sense of distance from nature: our willingness to objectify nature and see it merely as a resource. Clay Skipper, GQ, "Michael Pollan on Why Psychedelics Might Save Us All," 18 May 2018 Connie Bertram, the head of Proskauer Rose’s labor and employment practice, has sued the company for paying her less than her male peers, and for top executives allegedly making objectifying and lascivious comments about her. David Meyer, Fortune, "Air France-KLM, Novartis and Cohen, Soros and Tesla: CEO Daily for May 16, 2018," 16 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

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Statistics for objectify

Last Updated

25 Sep 2018

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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

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

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).


by force of circumstances

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