Definition of reify in English:


verbreifying, reifies, reified

[with object]formal
  • Make (something abstract) more concrete or real.

    ‘these instincts are, in man, reified as verbal constructs’
    • ‘Once we have made up categories or concepts, however, it is easy to reify them - that is, it is easy to treat them as real and universal and to forget that we made them up.’
    • ‘His analysis thus reifies the creator at the same time that it promotes the creation.’
    • ‘The so-called postmodern world has reified the worst aspects of capitalism, which no longer faces the restraints of a concerted working-class challenge.’
    • ‘Our fourth and final point is that it is not clear why market participants should suddenly forget the arbitrary way the conventional judgment is formed once it has been established (and reify the price it supports).’
    • ‘Photography by reifying memories invests them with the concreteness they do not necessarily need.’
    • ‘I'll discuss our tendency to reify categories after we create them and our tendency to exaggerate the differences between the categories that we create.’
    • ‘Eighteenth-century lawmakers, however, had different aims; they wanted to reify hierarchies of race, class, and status.’
    • ‘For instance, one can avoid the generic ‘he’ in one's writing but nevertheless, using other words, reify the social categories female and male and the current relationship between them as natural and essential.’
    • ‘Concrete abstractions regarding productive and unproductive identities are reified and spaces, along with the bodies that occupy those spaces, are imbued with ideologies of capitalism and patriarchy.’
    • ‘That is, the question of Irish or English became a symbolic but reified way of talking about power in language in the abstract sense of the word.’
    • ‘Further, Eddie's pursuit and ultimate success in obtaining and reifying an American Dream not corrupted by materialism offers the impression that it was somewhat easy to obtain.’
    • ‘Others, myself included, have discussed celebrity as a kind of art, providing narratives that reify themes and ideas in the culture much the way myths do.’
    • ‘Normally due to our delusions, we reify things.’
    • ‘Proper gender and class hierarchies are, however, only temporarily suspended in the play's world and restored in the genre's conventionally happy endings that reify English culture as patriarchal and imperial.’
    • ‘In the end, accountability groups provide for many of the men a sense of equality with their fellows even as they serve to reify particular types of social hierarchies.’
    • ‘We are familiar enough with representations of the future that it is easily reified.’
    attain, reach, arrive at
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century: from Latin res, re- ‘thing’ + -fy.