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See more synonyms for embody on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), em·bod·ied, em·bod·y·ing.
  1. to give a concrete form to; express, personify, or exemplify in concrete form: to embody an idea in an allegorical painting.
  2. to provide with a body; incarnate; make corporeal: to embody a spirit.
  3. to collect into or include in a body; organize; incorporate.
  4. to embrace or comprise.
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Also imbody.

Origin of embody

First recorded in 1540–50; em-1 + body
Related formsem·bod·i·er, nounpre·em·bod·y, verb (used with object), pre·em·bod·ied, pre·em·bod·y·ing.re·em·bod·y, verb (used with object), re·em·bod·ied, re·em·bod·y·ing.well-em·bod·ied, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for embody

exemplify, incorporate, exhibit, express, epitomize, manifest, typify, personify, mirror, demonstrate, symbolize, realize, illustrate, blend, codify, comprehend, involve, embrace, contain, combine

Examples from the Web for embody

Contemporary Examples of embody

Historical Examples of embody

  • At last in desperation you embody it in a poem, an essay, a story.

    Ballads of a Bohemian

    Robert W. Service

  • I had for some time thought about it, but had not attempted to embody the conception in a drawing.


    Samuel Smiles

  • Yet the English have contrived to embody all these in one word, and that word my name!'

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

  • Endeavor to embody in the laws of the community the spirit of equity and progress.

  • We may read this cable wrong but it seems to us to embody a topsy-turvy tactic!

British Dictionary definitions for embody


verb -bodies, -bodying or -bodied (tr)
  1. to give a tangible, bodily, or concrete form to (an abstract concept)
  2. to be an example of or express (an idea, principle, etc), esp in actionhis gentleness embodies a Christian ideal
  3. (often foll by in) to collect or unite in a comprehensive whole, system, etc; comprise; includeall the different essays were embodied in one long article
  4. to invest (a spiritual entity) with a body or with bodily form; render incarnate
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Derived Formsembodiment, 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 embody


1540s, in reference to a soul or spirit invested with a physical form; of principles, ideas, etc., from 1660s; from en- (1) "in" + body. Related: Embodied; embodying.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper