English edit

Etymology edit

From French personnifier; equivalent to person +‎ -ify or persona +‎ -ify.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /pə(ɹ)ˈsɒnɪfaɪ/
  • (file)

Verb edit

personify (third-person singular simple present personifies, present participle personifying, simple past and past participle personified)

  1. (transitive) To be an example of; to have all the attributes of.
    Antonym: unpersonify
    Mozart could be said to personify musical genius.
  2. (transitive) To create a representation of (an abstract quality) in the form of a character or persona.
    Antonym: unpersonify
    The writer personified death in the form of the Grim Reaper.
    • 1838 (date written), L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter VII, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, [], published 1842, →OCLC, page 73:
      If ever any of the girls had taken a fancy to personify their good genius, they would certainly have given to his image all they remembered of "Uncle Frank."

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