personify

[per-son-uh-fahy]
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verb (used with object), per·son·i·fied, per·son·i·fy·ing.
  1. to attribute human nature or character to (an inanimate object or an abstraction), as in speech or writing.
  2. to represent (a thing or abstraction) in the form of a person, as in art.
  3. to embody (a quality, idea, etc.) in a real person or a concrete thing.
  4. to be an embodiment or incarnation of; typify: He personifies the ruthless ambition of some executives.
  5. to personate.

Origin of personify

1720–30; person + -ify; compare French personnifier, Italian personificare
Related formsper·son·i·fi·a·ble, adjectiveper·son·i·fi·ant, adjectiveper·son·i·fi·er, nounun·per·son·i·fied, adjectiveun·per·son·i·fy·ing, adjective

Synonyms for personify

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for personifies

personify

verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)
  1. to attribute human characteristics to (a thing or abstraction)
  2. to represent (an abstract quality) in human or animal form
  3. (of a person or thing) to represent (an abstract quality), as in art or literature
  4. to be the embodiment of
Derived Formspersonifiable, adjectivepersonifier, 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 personifies

personify

v.

1727 "to attribute personal form to things or abstractions" (especially as an artistic or literary technique), from person + -fy or from French personnifier (17c.), from personne. Meaning "to represent, embody" attested from 1806. Related: Personified; personifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper