per·​son·​i·​fy | \ pər-ˈsä-nə-ˌfī How to pronounce personify (audio) \
personified; personifying

Definition of personify

transitive verb

1 : to conceive of or represent as a person or as having human qualities or powers
2 : to be the embodiment or personification of : incarnate a teacher who personified patience

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Other Words from personify

personifier \ pər-​ˈsä-​nə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce personifier (audio) \ noun

Examples of personify in a Sentence

The ancient Greeks personified the forces of nature as gods and goddesses. Justice is personified as a woman with her eyes covered.

Recent Examples on the Web

Within the first few minutes of Lorene Scafaria’s crime-dramedy Hustlers, Jennifer Lopez makes her entrance as seduction personified, playing a veteran exotic dancer named Ramona. Joey Nolfi,, "Bad mother-Hustlers: How Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu fell head over (nine-inch) heels for each other," 12 Sep. 2019 Reynolds, whom the Phillies would send to mime school in order to enhance his skills, would personify the Phanatic for the next 16 seasons. Michael Mccann,, "Will Phillies Have to Ditch Phillie Phanatic Mascot?," 6 Aug. 2019 In a sport that sometimes feels sapped of genuity, Morton personifies it with every fiber of his being. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros demolish Rays, 15-1," 28 Aug. 2019 The dominant political force in this country is fueled by its dedication to patriarchy, its resentment of the young, and its intense fear of demographic change, personified by immigrants in general and refugees in particular. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "The Media Is Missing the Real Story of Trump’s Racism," 5 Aug. 2019 Upton has come to personify boring value the last three seasons, hitting a combined .258/.338/.490 with anywhere between 30 and 35 homers, 85 and 109 RBI, and eight and 14 steals. Michael Beller,, "Stock Ticker: Expect Edwin Encarnacion to Rise in the Heart of Yankees' Lineup," 18 June 2019 Standing on the shoulders of such icons as Janet Jackson and Grace Jones—the latter of whom joins her for the Pride Island celebration, at Pier 97, June 29-30—Taylor is magnificence personified. The New Yorker, "Teyana Taylor’s Pride Island Magnificence," 25 May 2018 Less attention has been paid to the forces that have abetted his rise and eroded Republican support for immigration — forces Mr. Miller has personified and advanced in a career unusually reflective of its times. Jason Deparle, New York Times, "How Stephen Miller Seized the Moment to Battle Immigration," 17 Aug. 2019 Like Ocasio-Cortez, Marcantonio divided members of Congress, leading a small coterie of far-leftists while personifying the enemy to conservatives and moderates. Kyle Sammin, National Review, "A Socialist Predecessor of Ocasio-Cortez in Congress," 13 Aug. 2019

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

1728, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for personify

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for personify

The first known use of personify was in 1728

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More Definitions for personify



English Language Learners Definition of personify

: to have a lot of (a particular quality) : to be the perfect example of a person who has (a quality)
: to think of or represent (a thing or idea) as a person or as having human qualities or powers


per·​son·​i·​fy | \ pər-ˈsä-nə-ˌfī How to pronounce personify (audio) \
personified; personifying

Kids Definition of personify

: to think of or represent as a person The hero is bravery personified.

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Comments on personify

What made you want to look up personify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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