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 Showrunner Alena Smith and company spice things up by taking creative liberties, like infusing Emily’s world with modern slang and music, and personifying death (a subject of fascination for the poet) in a character played by Wiz Khalifa. Kristin Vartan,, "Here's everything you need to know about Hailee Steinfeld's Dickinson," 30 Oct. 2019 As founder and director of the National Ballet of Cuba, Alonso personified the island’s arts program under Fidel Castro’s communist rule and kept vise-like control over the troupe past her 90th birthday despite being nearly blind for decades. Peter Orsi And Andrea Rodriquez Oct. 17,, "Alicia Alonso, the grande dame of Cuban ballet, dies at 98," 17 Oct. 2019 Each sin, with an influencer at the helm, is personified. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Fashion Maven Kristen Noel Crawley Stars In Moose Knuckles Campaign," 16 Oct. 2019 The bloodshed of his regime stood in stark contrast to the reign of the former general leading the United States in the 1790s: George Washington stepped aside from the presidency in 1797, personifying self-sacrifice and a peaceful transfer of power. Steele Brand, Twin Cities, "Steele Brand: Why knowing Roman history is key to preserving America’s future," 19 Sep. 2019 Will Win: Michelle Williams, who sang, danced and personified the best and worst of female ambition, in what was admittedly an outstanding performance. Time, "Here's Who Will Win—And Who Should—at the 2019 Emmys," 18 Sep. 2019 No organization personified this freeze more than the Cubs. Andy Mccullough,, "Cubs add closer Craig Kimbrel and Dodgers get company in N.L. pennant race," 5 June 2019 But for French the populist preference seemed far more contingent—more dependent upon political weakness—everywhere, most of all in the Republican establishment that he was supposed to personify. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "David French, Sohrab Ahmari, and the Battle for the Future of Conservatism," 12 Sep. 2019 Pickens personified the swashbuckling Texan oilman of folklore. Cyrus Sanati, Fortune, "How Legendary ‘Raider’ T. Boone Pickens Changed the Oil Business—and Every Business," 14 Sep. 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

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for personify

The first known use of personify was in 1728

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How to pronounce personify (audio)

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).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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