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[an-thruh-puh-mawr-fiz-uh m]
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  1. an anthropomorphic conception or representation, as of a deity.

Origin of anthropomorphism

First recorded in 1745–55; anthropo- + -morphism
Related formsan·thro·po·mor·phist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for anthropomorphism

Historical Examples

  • To the Intermediatist, the accusation of "anthropomorphism" is meaningless.

    The Book of the Damned

    Charles Fort

  • And apparently the Bible countenanced their anthropomorphism.

  • In anthropomorphism there are many errors, but there is one truth.

    Theism or Atheism

    Chapman Cohen

  • Its anthropomorphism is only, to unobservant minds, less apparent.

    Theism or Atheism

    Chapman Cohen

  • If thy predicates are anthropomorphisms, the subject of them is an anthropomorphism too.

British Dictionary definitions for anthropomorphism


  1. the attribution of human form or behaviour to a deity, animal, etc
Derived Formsanthropomorphist, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for anthropomorphism


1753, "attributing of human qualities to a deity;" see anthropomorphic + -ism. Of other non-human things, from 1858. Related: Anthropomorphist (1610s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

anthropomorphism in Medicine


  1. The attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to nonhuman organisms or inanimate objects.
Related formsan′thro•po•morphic adj.an′thro•po•morphi•cal•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

anthropomorphism in Culture



The attributing of human characteristics and purposes to inanimate objects, animals, plants, or other natural phenomena, or to God. To describe a rushing river as “angry” is to anthropomorphize it.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.