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

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 Nick personified all that is good about his hometown. Rebecca Angel Baer, Southern Living, "Memphis BBQ Legend Nick Vergos of Rendezvous Has Died," 6 Sep. 2019 Blanche and Jack personified the ideals of the Georgian rural traditions: intelligence, strength, diligence, love of family and kindness to neighbors and to all of those in need., "Deaths in Central Florida: 7/20," 20 July 2019 Her faith, dignity, grace, and overall selfless energy personified Jane's compassion in always putting others first., "Jane M. Zurinskas," 13 June 2019 Image Image Image Farther east, in Echo Park, another sneakily haunting image surfaced: a man and woman cruising in an old burgundy Ford Galaxie 500, California car culture personified. New York Times, "Where the Real Los Angeles Meets the Dream," 20 Jan. 2018 Joe's fit also includes a sentimental streak, personified by his simple gold chain gifted to him by his grandmother. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Look Is Money: How Three Influencers Dress for New York Fashion Week," 13 Sep. 2019 For those of us lucky enough to have known him, Adam radiated a contagious exuberance for life and also personified the very definition of a true friend. Eric Todisco,, "Mandy Moore Remembers Ex Adam 'DJ AM' Goldstein on 10th Anniversary of His Death: 'Miss You Every Day'," 28 Aug. 2019 The findings, published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, add hard numbers to a pattern personified by victims like Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Freddie Gray. Los Angeles Times, "Getting killed by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America," 16 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

17 Oct 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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