[ per-son-uh-fi-key-shuhn ]
See synonyms for personification on
  1. the attribution of human nature or character to animals, inanimate objects, or abstract notions, especially as a rhetorical figure.

  2. the representation of a thing or abstraction in the form of a person, as in art.

  1. the person or thing embodying a quality or the like; an embodiment or incarnation: He is the personification of tact.

  2. an imaginary person or creature conceived or figured to represent a thing or abstraction.

  3. the act of personifying; the attributing of human qualities to an animal, object, or abstraction: The author's personification of the farm animals made for an enchanting children's book.

  4. a character portrayal or representation in a dramatic or literary work.

Origin of personification

First recorded in 1745–55; personi(fy) + -fication

Other words from personification

  • per·son·i·fi·ca·tor, noun
  • non·per·son·i·fi·ca·tion, noun

Words Nearby personification Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use personification in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for personification


/ (pɜːˌsɒnɪfɪˈkeɪʃən) /

  1. the attribution of human characteristics to things, abstract ideas, etc, as for literary or artistic effect

  2. the representation of an abstract quality or idea in the form of a person, creature, etc, as in art and literature

  1. a person or thing that personifies

  2. a person or thing regarded as an embodiment of a quality: he is the personification of optimism

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