- The attribution of human-like characteristics to something not human. [from the mid-18th c.]
- (theology) the attribution of human-like characteristics to divine beings
This term carries very different connotations when used in different contexts. In literature, anthropomorphism describes merely a device of fiction writing, whereas in science (particularly biology) anthropomorphism has traditionally been used pejoratively when a scientist appears to be attributing to animals characteristics that are assumed to be exclusive to human beings.