personify[pər sän′ə fī′]
- To personify is to give human characteristics to something, or to represent in human or physical form.
- When you say "the sky was crying," this is an example of a time when you personify the sky.
- When a corporation stands for all that is greedy and wrong with the business world, this is an example of when the corporation personifies greed and evil.
transitive verbpersonified, personifying
- to think or speak of (a thing) as having life or personality; represent as a person: to personify a ship by referring to it as “she”
- to symbolize (an abstract idea) by a human figure, as in art
- to be a symbol or perfect example of (some quality, thing, or idea); typify; embody
Origin of personifyFrench personifier: see person and amp; -fy
transitive verbper·son·i·fied, per·son·i·fy·ing, per·son·i·fies
- To think of or represent (an inanimate object or abstraction) as having personality or the qualities, thoughts, or movements of a living being: “To make history or psychology alive I personify it” (Ana&idie;s Nin).
- To represent (an object or abstraction) by a human figure.
- To represent (an abstract quality or idea): This character personifies evil.
- To be the embodiment or perfect example of: “Stalin now personified bolshevism in the eyes of the world” (A.J.P. Taylor).
Origin of personifyFrench personnifier, from personne, person, from Old French persone; see person.
(third-person singular simple present personifies, present participle personifying, simple past and past participle personified)