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

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 His two advisers seemed almost to personify the voices arguing in his head: the results-minded Israeli pol and the Palestinian ideologue. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2021 The lineup will feature local artists, producers, venue owners, and more — all coming together to represent their favorite cities and personify their musical spirits. Christopher Cruz, Rolling Stone, 24 Sep. 2021 These groups prized McKay as someone who might come to personify their ideals. Colin Grant, The New York Review of Books, 5 Nov. 2020 Gene Freidman, a cabdriver’s son who schemed his way to become the nation’s biggest taxi mogul and came to personify both the inflated ascent of the industry in New York City and its crushing financial collapse, died on Sunday in Manhattan. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 25 Oct. 2021 Allen has come to personify the characteristics of Naperville North’s defense, a unit that takes great pride in having drive, unselfishness and perseverance. Patrick Z. Mcgavin,, 7 Oct. 2021 For a few years beginning in the late 1950s, Walt Disney’s busiest actor was a young man named Tommy Kirk, a clean-cut Kentucky native who came to personify the studio’s brand of wholesome family entertainment. Washington Post, 30 Sep. 2021 The purpose of this, one theory suggests, was to personify the human life force. Andrea K. Scott, The New Yorker, 3 Sep. 2021 But there’s also an actual heel on Heels who is meant to personify the real corporate villains of the industry who work behind the scenes. Whitney Friedlander, Vulture, 24 Aug. 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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The first known use of personify was in 1728

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Last Updated

16 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Personify.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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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.

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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