per·​son·​i·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ pər-ˌsä-nə-fə-ˈkā-shən \

Definition of personification

1 : attribution of personal qualities especially : representation of a thing or abstraction as a person or by the human form
2 : a divinity or imaginary being representing a thing or abstraction

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Examples of personification in a Sentence

the use of personification in a story a personification of justice as a woman with her eyes covered

Recent Examples on the Web

Harry’s nemesis, the Dark Lord, the personification of all that is evil. Laura Collins-hughes, New York Times, "So You Know Nothing About ‘Harry Potter’? Let’s Catch You Up," 15 Feb. 2018 JooE, in particular, is Momoland's personification of cotton candy. Devon Abelman, Allure, "K-Pop Group Momoland Shares the Weirdest Parts of Their Beauty Routines," 24 Aug. 2018 Her astonishing business skills earn her a reputation for being able to spin silver into gold — and thereby catches the eye of the king of the Staryk, the elvish personification of winter in the story’s Lithuanian-analogue fantasy world. Constance Grady, Vox, "With Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik cements her status as one of the great YA fantasy authors," 20 July 2018 The name Columbia was chosen to honor the District of Columbia, as well as acknowledge Columbia, the feminine personification of the United States of America. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy's Next Missile Sub Is Called USS Columbia," 15 Dec. 2016 But if 2017 was a year of extreme belligerence from the North Korean leader, the first six months of 2018 have been the personification of the Pyongyang charm offensive. Jamie Tarabay, CNN, "How Trump and Kim made it to 'hello'," 9 June 2018 The dark figure in the doorway may be a personification of Death at the door, standing over the future President’s shoulder, about to shut the door on the light. Victoria Dalkey, sacbee, "This artist's works will blow you away in Sacramento exhibit | The Sacramento Bee," 20 Apr. 2018 For the first half of the show, the Tuunbaq functions almost as a personification of the aggressiveness of the landscape, like Open Water’s sharks. Asher Elbein, The Atlantic, "The Terror Is More Than a Chilling Monster Show," 1 May 2018 Her traveling companion, a little girl, is a personification of the future. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "One of These Five Innovative Memorials Will Soon Honor Native American Veterans," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'personification.' 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 personification

1728, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for personification

Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for personification

The first known use of personification was in 1728

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More Definitions for personification



English Language Learners Definition of personification

: a person who has a lot of a particular quality and who is the perfect example of someone who has that quality

: an imaginary person that represents a thing or idea

: the practice of representing a thing or idea as a person in art, literature, etc.

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