a) To be an example of; to have all the attributes of.

Mozart could be said to personify the idea of a musical genius.

b) To create a representation of an abstract quality in the form of a literary character.

The writer personified death in the form of the Grim Reaper.

See Also: personification

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  • personify — [pər sän′ə fī΄] vt. personified, personifying [Fr personifier: see PERSON & FY] 1. 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”] 2. to symbolize (an abstract… …   English World dictionary

  • Personify — Per*son i*fy, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Personified}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Personifying}.] [Person + fy: cf. F. personnifier.] 1. To regard, treat, or represent as a person; to represent as a rational being. [1913 Webster] The poets take the liberty of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • personify — I verb ascribe personal qualities to, be the embodiment, characterize, copy, embody, embrace, exemplify, humanize, incarnate, manifest, orationem attribuere, symbolize, treat as human, typify II index characterize, depict, embody …   Law dictionary

  • personify — 1727 to attribute personal form to things or abstractions (especially as an artistic or literary technique), from from PERSON (Cf. person) + FY (Cf. fy) or from Fr. personnifier (17c.). Related: Personified; personifying …   Etymology dictionary

  • personify — [v] represent some other being, character act out, body forth, contain, copy, emblematize, embody, epitomize, exemplify, express, exteriorize, externalize, hominify, humanize, illustrate, image, imitate, impersonate, incarnate, live as, make… …   New thesaurus

  • personify — ► VERB (personifies, personified) 1) represent (a quality or concept) by a figure in human form. 2) attribute a personal nature or human characteristics to (something non human). 3) represent or embody (a quality or concept) in a physical form.… …   English terms dictionary

  • personify — UK [pə(r)ˈsɒnɪfaɪ] / US [pərˈsɑnəˌfaɪ] verb [transitive] Word forms personify : present tense I/you/we/they personify he/she/it personifies present participle personifying past tense personified past participle personified a) to be a very clear… …   English dictionary

  • personify — per|son|i|fy [pəˈsɔnıfaı US pərˈsa: ] v past tense and past participle personified present participle personifying third person singular personifies [T] 1.) to have a lot of a particular quality or be a typical example of something ▪ Carter… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • personify — [[t]pə(r)sɒ̱nɪfaɪ[/t]] personifies, personifying, personified VERB If you say that someone personifies a particular thing or quality, you mean that they seem to be a perfect example of that thing, or to have that quality to a very large degree.… …   English dictionary

  • personify — verb (T) 1 to think of or represent a quality or thing as a person: Time is often personified as an old man with a scythe. 2 to represent a particular quality or thing by having a lot of that quality or by being a typical example of that thing:… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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