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 The Statue of Liberty has been an enduring national symbol to personify that very abstract idea. Alex Scimecca, Fortune, "The Statue of Liberty’s origin in photos," 4 July 2020 Anthony Steward, 34, a Milwaukee cook, personified that progress. Eric Morath And Amara Omeokwe, WSJ, "Coronavirus Obliterated Best African-American Job Market on Record," 9 June 2020 But for scene-maker and Value Culture founder Adam Swig, his symbol is personified by goats — those cloven-hoofed, horned members of the biological Bovidae family. Catherine Bigelow,, "San Francisco welcomes British invasion at Mostly British Film Festival," 26 Feb. 2020 The names of the lip colours are Stormi-personified with Give Me Butterflies, a deep coral shade, and Head in the Clouds, a deep pink colour. Shannon Carlin,, "Kylie Jenner’s Stormi Palette Is Cute Enough To Give You Butterflies," 20 Jan. 2020 Wine lovers around the world are raising their glasses in tribute to an icon who personified the good life — the social life — that wine represents. Washington Post, "Undeterred by social distancing, wine lovers around the world embrace virtual happy hours with friends and family," 27 Mar. 2020 The last time Labour elected a leader who personified cautious competence was in 1935. The Economist, "Bagehot Keir Starmer, a serious Labour man," 29 Feb. 2020 In front of Baquedano’s statue, maverick artists have installed three wooden sculptures that personify the indigenous tribes of Chile, from north to south. Ariel Dorfman, The New York Review of Books, "Chile: Notes from a Revolt," 13 Mar. 2020 The ensemble is stuffed with excellence (Luis Guzman gives a career-best performance as Hector, and Terry O’Quinn is law-enforcement personified as Wesley Walker, Texas Ranger). Kristen Baldwin,, "The best (and worst) TV shows of 2019," 11 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for personify

Time Traveler

The first known use of personify was in 1728

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Statistics for personify

Last Updated

18 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Personify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for personify


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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