Meaning of personify in English:

personify

verbpersonifies, personifying, personified

[with object]
  • 1Represent (a quality or concept) by a figure in human form.

    ‘public pageants and dramas in which virtues and vices were personified’
    • ‘In many ways it was simply another reflection of the very human tendency to personify the forces of evil.’
    • ‘Her long, thick hair, which is rendered with rubbed graphite, expands as it falls like water to the image's edge; she might almost be personifying a natural force.’
    • ‘Because prejudice is not personified I believe that it was not to be the object of Jane Austen's sharper criticism.’
    • ‘The soul, the mind, moral entities, mental functions, have always, in literature as well as in the arts and folklore, been personified in human or animal form.’
    • ‘The choir likewise represent not only the blessed and angels, but vices personified; they are also used as a chorus - in the sense of Greek tragedy - to comment on the action.’
    • ‘Where nature is usually personified as a woman, and man the destroyer, here the roles are reversed.’
    • ‘It is true, as others have argued, that Byron personifies the imperial and despotic nature of Russia in his portrait of the queen, but this is only a partial rendering of a significant section of the poem as a whole.’
    • ‘Tan created the characters of Rose, Waverly, June and Lena to personify her own questions and concerns.’
    • ‘She has chosen to personify this trait in several characters in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ although it is hard to find one character who portrays prejudice alone, throughout the novel.’
    • ‘In this allegory full of poetic images, wisdom is personified as a woman - a kind of hostess with the mostest.’
    • ‘Images of Charity personified often show a child suckling at each of her breasts.’
    1. 1.1Attribute a personal nature or human characteristics to (something non-human)
      ‘in the poem the oak trees are personified’
      • ‘Ultimately, his point - or question, rather - is serious and clear: why must non-humans be personified in order for us to care?’
      • ‘I mean, sure, there are plenty of books where the characters are animals, but they're personified animals.’
      • ‘The trucks seem to personify the pent-up rage that's come to characterise car culture.’
      • ‘She makes a crucial change by powerfully anthropomorphizing the scene: she personifies the landscape, and thus it becomes witness to her pain.’
      • ‘‘Nature,’ as thus personified and deified, was a creation of Ingalls.’
      • ‘A dream world was born: phantasmagoria, hallucinations, angels in paradise, the sun, moon and stars personified, vividly imagined.’
      • ‘Many people have understood this to be one person because it was written symbolically by personifying the beast as a ‘he’.’
      • ‘Humans have been personifying animals long before the Sumerians etched their first goat-headed man.’
      • ‘I guess if you were to personify them as a human, they'd be the pretty, fresh faced girl next door.’
      • ‘A discussion of agents would be incomplete if we ignored the human tendency to personify machines.’
      humanize, anthropomorphize, personalize
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    2. 1.2Represent or embody (a quality, concept, etc.) in a physical form.
      ‘the car personified motoring fun for two decades’
      • ‘These heroes have served culturally and historically to personify and embody Manifest Destiny, the best of America's imaginary frontier in the flesh.’
      • ‘He personifies superficiality and embodies the fact that they have nothing more to say politically.’
      • ‘To Kathleen and the children he was kindness personified and was always there to lend a helping hand when anyone was in trouble.’
      • ‘He was kindness personified in everything he did and he was incapable of uttering an ugly or offensive word.’
      • ‘In every respect, he was kindness personified and a man of the richest and most sincere nature.’
      • ‘She is and has been a tremendous asset to the organization and exemplary nursing leader who personifies the essence of distinguished service.’
      • ‘Like literary writers, nineteenth-century scientists sometimes created characters to embody or personify challenging ideas.’
      • ‘Boxing champions personify and exemplify every important positive quality that it takes to survive in this world.’
      • ‘One of the old stock, he personified that exemplary link associated between rural postmen and the community at large.’
      • ‘The two major characters personify nearly every unsavory characteristic inherent in human nature.’
      • ‘In their detachment and mobility, these characters personify the movements and uses of capital as they enter speculatively into representations of different cultures.’
      • ‘His characters personify determination and inventiveness.’
      • ‘The character Levi thus personifies the complexity of African diasporan religions in which many facets coexist with one another.’
      • ‘He personified the pure, blissful soul nature they sought and sensed as the center of themselves.’
      • ‘The chief characters at the centre of the two royal events personified this change of mood.’
      • ‘Reflecting our multi-faceted natures, each actor broadly personifies an element of her personality.’
      • ‘Brad was patience personified as he signed hundreds of photographs for adoring fans.’
      • ‘And the young striker was coolness personified as he swivelled and drilled into the bottom corner from 15 yards.’
      • ‘As a brilliant jockey and then winning trainer here, I think that he personifies the spirit of jump racing.’
      • ‘The longer I sat there, the more he seemed to personify all that is wretched in the pharmaceutical industry.’
      epitomize, embody, be the embodiment of, be the incarnation of, typify, exemplify, represent, symbolize, stand for, give human form to, give human shape to, body forth, incarnate, be representative of, encapsulate, manifest
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Origin

Early 18th century from French personnifier, from personne ‘person’.

Pronunciation

personify

/pəˈsɒnɪfʌɪ/