Definition of personification in English:

personification

noun

  • 1mass noun The attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something non-human, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.

    ‘the book provides a sustained account of how literary personification works’
    • ‘In Matthew, Jesus is the fulfillment and personification of Torah, the fully ‘faithful Child whom God had desired in Israel.’’
    • ‘You might even say that Anne serves as an American name for the tempter Mara, personification of desire in the Buddhist cosmology.’
    • ‘Here a personification of Painting, crowned with the eye of perspective, is shown in profile extending an embrace toward the hands of friendship.’
    • ‘In the drawing for the full composition, the personification of architecture holds a model of a structure with Doric columns.’
    • ‘Evil, mysterious, hostile to health and goodness, demons were once viewed as inferior gods-the personification of the powers behind human sickness, idolatry, and heresy.’
    • ‘Twain rarely uses personification in this work.’
    • ‘His grave monument reportedly featured the personification of Oligarchy setting fire to personified Democracy.’
    • ‘The use of the Greek word mammon, meaning money or wealth, in this context carries a sort of personification.’
    • ‘The case may be, the argument might run, that Hebrew can use the singular where most languages, including English, may prefer the plural for a group, and hence there is no real employment of personification.’
    • ‘To stress apostrophe, personification, prosopopoeia, and hyperbole is to join the theorists who through the ages have emphasized what distinguishes the lyric from other speech acts, what makes it the most literary of forms.’
    • ‘Then there is the striking personification of Wisdom as Woman, the most extensive personification in the entire Bible.’
    • ‘But indeed it is only strictly speaking that something is amiss, only if the allegorical content of each personification must be taken seriously.’
    • ‘Perhaps it's partially the combination of personification and blatant gender stereotypes.’
    • ‘The function of this process of personification is that it permits nature to be thought of as if it were a society of persons, and so makes of it a social or moral order.’
    • ‘His initial poems lean heavily on outmoded styles and subjects, such as Norse personification, sailors of Devon, or the bird as a correlative for soaring aspiration.’
    • ‘In those cultures, many scholars and many books would say the same: All these gods are then personification of some nature or phenomenon.’
    • ‘The lake is a personification of peace, tranquillity and unfathomable calm.’
    • ‘With its emphasis on personification and topical allusion, allegory has a long association with political discourse.’
    • ‘This supposed personification of an ancient sacred landscape appears as nothing of the sort but rather a generic Old Man River figurehead.’
    • ‘The goddess Nature is an amoral pagan personification, her laws harsh and ineluctable.’
  • 2A figure intended to represent an abstract quality.

    ‘the knight is accompanied by two feminine personifications of vice’
    • ‘Eros is a term insufficiently abstract; Eros is a god, Aphrodite a personification.’
    • ‘Momus, from the Greek word for blame or criticism, was the ancient world's personification of the contrarian spirit.’
    • ‘However, he reflected deeply on the existence of this inner woman who possessed the power to upset him, and concluded that she must be the personification of his soul.’
    • ‘In fact, this motif has been interpreted as a personification of Bounty or Charity, a symbol of Ecclesia, or simply as a poor Dutch woman who seeks shelter for herself and her children in the church.’
    • ‘Not only did Cameron produce numerous portraits of Jackson as herself, but also as a poetic ‘Stella’ and a personification of ‘Beauty.’’
    • ‘The biblical figures bracket seated personifications of Virtues, and they establish the underlying context: mankind's redemption through Christ's advent.’
    • ‘Amusingly, the personifications of both Honour and Pleasure have the faces of Raphael's future Madonnas.’
    • ‘By far the majority of personifications are feminine, products of either an idealization or demonization of woman.’
    • ‘How can I muster the strength to return to the scene of such a crime against humanity, such a blatant dereliction of the dignity of persons (and personifications of Evil)?’
    embodiment, incarnation, epitome, quintessence, essence, type, symbol, soul, picture, model, symbolization, exemplification, exemplar, image, representation, likeness, manifestation
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    1. 2.1 A person or thing regarded as embodying a quality, concept, etc.
      ‘he was the very personification of British pluck and diplomacy’
      • ‘They acted as the personification or representatives of the party and the country, which were considered two sides of the same coin.’
      • ‘He was the personification and embodiment of hip-hop.’
      • ‘He remains its moderator, its icon, its personification.’
      • ‘He is the personification of eclecticism which results in a frustratingly mixed qualitative output.’
      • ‘The ultimate personification of God's love was Jesus, and His love was expressed through the action of dying on the cross.’
      • ‘She is the archetypal personification of the sonnet claim because she promises Petrarch poetic fame.’
      • ‘Music is simply an personification of the soul.’
      • ‘He is the personification of material universe in all its various magnificent manifestations.’
      • ‘His public image was the personification of noblesse oblige, a wholesome and vigorous young president with a beautiful wife and young children.’
      • ‘That's all this personification of modesty has to say.’
      • ‘She looked the personification of pre-adolescent sulkiness, which perhaps explains the star quality she has for girls aged seven to 10.’
      • ‘These people have become the epitome and complete personification of Greed and Corruption.’
      embodiment, incarnation, paragon
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Pronunciation

personification

/pəˌsɒnɪfɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/