• synonyms


[adjective in-kahr-nit, -neyt; verb in-kahr-neyt]
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  1. embodied in flesh; given a bodily, especially a human, form: a devil incarnate.
  2. personified or typified, as a quality or idea: chivalry incarnate.
  3. flesh-colored or crimson.
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verb (used with object), in·car·nat·ed, in·car·nat·ing.
  1. to put into or represent in a concrete form, as an idea: The building incarnates the architect's latest theories.
  2. to be the embodiment or type of: Her latest book incarnates the literature of our day.
  3. to embody in flesh; invest with a bodily, especially a human, form: a man who incarnated wisdom and compassion.
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Origin of incarnate

1350–1400; late Middle English < Late Latin incarnātus past participle of incarnāre to make into flesh, equivalent to in- in-2 + carn- flesh (see carnal) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsnon·in·car·nate, adjectivenon·in·car·nat·ed, adjectiveun·in·car·nate, adjectiveun·in·car·nat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

embodied, substantiated, personified, typified, manifested, human, physical, real, tangible

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British Dictionary definitions for incarnate


adjective (ɪnˈkɑːnɪt, -neɪt) (usually immediately postpositive)
  1. possessing bodily form, esp the human forma devil incarnate
  2. personified or typifiedstupidity incarnate
  3. (esp of plant parts) flesh-coloured or pink
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verb (ɪnˈkɑːneɪt) (tr)
  1. to give a bodily or concrete form to
  2. to be representative or typical of
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Word Origin

C14: from Late Latin incarnāre to make flesh, from Latin in- ² + carō flesh
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 incarnate


late 14c., from Late Latin incarnatus "made flesh," a common word among early Christian writers, past participle of Latin incarnare "to make flesh" (see incarnation).

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1530s, a back-formation from incarnation, or else from Latin incarnatus, past participle of incarnare (see incarnation). Related: Incarnated; incarnating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper