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 In a video, he was seen objectifying a teenage girl and criticizing the physical appearance of female seminary students. Washington Post, "The cost of coming forward: 1 survivor’s life after #MeToo," 22 Nov. 2019 Reducing Native women to a fetish is an oppressive, objectifying practice grounded in misogyny, exploitation and the promotion of false, negative stereotypes. Ruth Hopkins, Teen Vogue, "Celebrating Native American Heritage Month: Dos and Donts," 12 Nov. 2019 The forms in which women project and objectify their fears ought to have the chance to scare the bejeezus out of us as often as those of men do. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "The Women Who Helped Build Hollywood," 28 Oct. 2019 Late last month saw the publication of All the President’s Women, an in-depth exploration of Trump’s tendency to objectify the women who cross his path. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "The Perverse Physics of Accusing Trump of Assault," 7 Nov. 2019 The code bans inappropriate jokes, persistent one-sided flirting, or objectifying comments on somebody’s dress, looks, or sexuality. Linda Nordling, Science | AAAS, "‘It’s not acceptable.’ Conduct codes aim to curb harassment at scientific field sites," 23 Oct. 2019 The show has often been criticized for objectifying women and has faced recent criticism after CMO Edward Razek made about casting plus-sized and transgender models in the show. cleveland, "Bye bye, Angels. Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show leaves network TV.," 11 May 2019 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

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

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Objectify.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objectify?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=o&file=object06. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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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

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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

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a period of high artistic development

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