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 personify (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 Quirky prints and graphics that are filled with affirmations of self-love will have your kids stepping out in clothes that personify confidence and style. Janelle Randazza, USA TODAY, 25 June 2021 From today for a limited time, drivers can choose between two navigation voices designed to personify our beloved household pets. Chris Smith, BGR, 1 July 2021 In journalism school, we were taught to personify numbers. Bryan Hendricks, Arkansas Online, 20 June 2021 Marta identifies most with a region by exploring its cultural landscape through the eyes, traditions, and stories of those who personify it. Irene S. Levine, Forbes, 16 May 2021 Two congresswomen personify the choice for the GOP, Janet Hook writes. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2021 Owens came to personify the unsteady nature of an acting career when, in 2018, he was recognized while working at Trader Joe’s in his hometown of Montclair, New Jersey. Christopher Arnott,, 28 Apr. 2021 Yet today, care workers personify not only the new conditions of work but also the resistance to these conditions. Scott W. Stern, The New Republic, 31 Mar. 2021 But that image may have contributed to his struggles, as his body and mind couldn’t keep up with the exaggerated manliness Hemingway sought to personify. oregonlive, 30 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for personify

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The first known use of personify was in 1728

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Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Personify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on personify

Nglish: Translation of personify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of personify for Arabic Speakers


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