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Personify   /pərsˈɑnəfˌaɪ/   Listen
Personify

verb
(past & past part. personified; pres. part. personifying)
1.
Invest with or as with a body; give body to.  Synonym: body.
2.
Represent, as of a character on stage.  Synonyms: be, embody.
3.
Attribute human qualities to something.  Synonym: personate.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Personify" Quotes from Famous Books



... the Volsungs is supposed by some authorities to be a series of sun myths, in which Sigi, Rerir, Volsung, Sigmund, and Sigurd in turn personify the glowing orb of day. They are all armed with invincible swords, the sunbeams, and all travel through the world fighting against their foes, the demons of cold and darkness. Sigurd, like Balder, is beloved of all; he marries Brunhild, ...
— Myths of the Norsemen - From the Eddas and Sagas • H. A. Guerber

... breast! They disregard the hurricane that goes crashing through their old woods; the cloud-thunder disturbs not them any more than that of their own cataracts, and the lightnings play for their pastime. All minds under any excitation, more or less personify mountains. When much moved, that natural process affects all our feelings, as the language of passion awakened by such objects vividly declares; and then we do assuredly conceive of mountains as endued with life—however dim and vague the ...
— Recreations of Christopher North, Volume 2 • John Wilson

... certain poem which I had vaguely ruminated for a week before took hold of me like a real James River ague, and I have been in a mortal shake with the same, day and night, ever since. I call it 'The Symphony': I personify each instrument in the orchestra, and make them discuss various deep social questions of the times, in the progress of the music. It is now nearly finished; and I shall be rejoiced thereat, for it verily racks all ...
— Sidney Lanier • Edwin Mims

... as now was Lincoln's greatness understood. He has come to personify for us the triumphs and glories, the sadness and the pathos, of the great struggle which he guided. His final martyrdom seems almost a fitting crown for his achievements. It has, without doubt, done much to secure him the exalted niche which he occupies in the hearts of the ...
— American Men of Action • Burton E. Stevenson

... voluntarily submitted to vanish into thin air. Scarcely had I walked three steps in the Tuileries gardens, the place which I had chosen as my destination, before I saw the prototype of the matrimonial situation which has last been described in this book. Had I desired to characterize, to idealize, to personify marriage, as I conceived it to be, it would have been impossible for the Creator himself to have produced so complete a symbol of it as I ...
— The Physiology of Marriage, Part III. • Honore de Balzac

... one proved treacherous. There seemed to her nothing ridiculous in this personification of the garden, as there had formerly seemed to her nothing ridiculous in her thought of the desert as a being; but the fact that she did thus instinctively personify the nature that surrounded her gave to the garden in her eyes an aspect that was hostile and even threatening, as if she faced a love now changed to hate, a cold and inimical watchfulness that knew too much about her, to which she had once told all her happy ...
— The Garden Of Allah • Robert Hichens

... will issue from a fetid gale a gloomy figure with head like a minaret, red eyeballs, hooked nose, teeth like pillars, spear-like fangs, snaky locks etc. and when asked who he is he will reply, "I am the personification of thine evil acts!" (Dabistan i. 285.) The Hindus also personify everything. ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 4 • Richard F. Burton

... sonnet, and found it easy, flowing, and well written. It was composed in praise of the King of Prussia, who had just conquered Silesia by a masterly stroke. As I was copying it, the idea struck me to personify Silesia, and to make her, in answer to the sonnet, bewail that Love (supposed to be the author of the sonnet of the marchioness) could applaud the man who had conquered her, when that conqueror was ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... opportunity of diverting the reader from myself to characters more worthy of his attention, has led me far beyond my 455 first intention; but it is not unimportant to expose the false zeal which has occasioned these attacks on our elder patriots. It has been too much the fashion first to personify the Church of England, and then to speak of different individuals, who in different ages have been rulers in that church, as if in some 460 strange way they constituted its personal identity. Why should ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... often have felt startled, when from the small swinging form perching on a branch, came out in childish tones the "Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers", of Milton's stately and sonorous verse. I liked to personify Satan, and to declaim the grand speeches of the hero-rebel, and many a happy hour did I pass in Milton's heaven and hell, with for companions Satan and "the Son", Gabriel and Abdiel. Then there was a terrace running by the side of the ...
— Autobiographical Sketches • Annie Besant

... escaped deadly peril in the Yoshino region through the devotion of Sato Tadanobu, whose brother, Tsuginobu, had died to save Yoshitsune's life in the battle of Yashima. Attacked by the monks of Zo-o-do in overwhelming force, Yoshitsune had prepared to meet death when Tadanobu offered to personify him and hold the position while Yoshitsune escaped. With much difficulty Yoshitsune was induced to consent. Tadanobu not only succeeded in covering the retreat of his chief, but also managed himself ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... bear the sight of the big ungainly figure. The man seemed to personify all of the things against which his soul was in revolt and he stopped and stood crouched, a ferocious light ...
— Marching Men • Sherwood Anderson

... not appear to be great. It is probable that the relation of the ideas to God or of God to the world was differently conceived by him at different times of his life. In all his later dialogues we observe a tendency in him to personify mind or God, and he therefore naturally inclines to view creation as the work of design. The creator is like a human artist who frames in his mind a plan which he executes by the help of his servants. Thus the language of philosophy which speaks of first and second causes is crossed ...
— Timaeus • Plato

... of freedom and good faith that yet burn strongly within him. He is driven to temporize with the evil thing he hates, because he fears, if he does not, that his household will be split, and thus the greater evil befall him. But those that personify the evil may goad him once too often. Dumba the lesser criminal—as also the less dexterous—has betrayed himself and is expelled. When will Bernstorff's turn come? That it will come, indeed must come, is self-evident. The ...
— Raemaekers' Cartoons - With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers • Louis Raemaekers

... to be the type of causal power; but volition, according to Brown, reveals simply another succession of desires and bodily actions. The hypothesis of 'power' has been really the source of 'illusion.' The tendency to personify leads us to convert metaphor into fact, to invent a subject of this imaginary 'power,' and thus to create a mythology of beings to carry on the processes of nature. In other words, Brown here follows Hume or even anticipates Comte. As J. S. Mill remarks,[471] ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3) - James Mill • Leslie Stephen

... culture of the nation. The throne and the system rest on universal suffrage,—on a suffrage which gives to classes the most ignorant a power that preponderates over all the healthful elements of knowledge. It is the tendency of all ignorant multitudes to personify themselves, as it were, in one individual. They cannot comprehend you when you argue for a principle; they do comprehend you when you talk of a name. The Emperor Napoleon is to them a name, and the prefects and officials who influence their votes are paid for incorporating all principles ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... wearied of saying that he was "no politician." He was, none the less, one of the most forceful and successful politicians that the country has known. He was fortunate in being able to personify a cause which was grounded deeply in the feelings and opinions of the people, and also in being able to command the services of a large group of tireless and skillful national and local managers. He was willing to leave to these managers the infinite details of his campaign. But he kept ...
— The Reign of Andrew Jackson • Frederic Austin Ogg

... will often and freely personify, and must do so. The highest feeling takes on a quality of love, and love goes to a personal object. It is sometimes as toward one divine friend and God, sometimes toward the one beloved human being, sometimes the Christ, sometimes a universe of living ...
— The Chief End of Man • George S. Merriam

... falsehood, purity and impurity; apparently they are blind to the evidence of harmony and agreement in the universe, discerning nothing anywhere but strife, conflict, antagonism. Nor is this all. They go a step further, and personify the two parties to the struggle. One is a "white" or holy "Spirit" (cpento mainyus), and the other a "dark spirit" (angro mainyus). But this personification is merely poetical or metaphorical, not real. ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 3. (of 7): Media • George Rawlinson

... the whole of this interesting preface is accurately reprinted with the book, the reader is referred to it without further extracts.[195] The Editor's introduction to these Sighs was written under very solemn feelings, produced by reading this searching treatise. The rich man is intended to personify those who, neglecting salvation, die in their sins, while Lazarus personates all those who humbly receive salvation as the gift of God; who, however they may suffer in this world, retain their integrity to death. In this parable, a voice ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... are most present to it. This inclination, it is true, is suppressed by a little reflection, and only takes place in children, poets, and the antient philosophers. It appears in children, by their desire of beating the stones, which hurt them: In poets, by their readiness to personify every thing: And in the antient philosophers, by these fictions of sympathy and antipathy. We must pardon children, because of their age; poets, because they profess to follow implicitly the suggestions of their fancy: But what excuse shall we find to justify ...
— A Treatise of Human Nature • David Hume

... the Creator, is usually regarded as the first person of the divine triad of India. The four heads with which he is represented are supposed to have allusion to the four corners of the earth which he is sometimes considered to personify. As an object of adoration Brahma has been entirely superseded by Siva and Vishnu. In the whole of India there is, I believe, but one temple dedicated to his worship. In this point the first of the Indian triad curiously resembles the last of the divine fraternity of Greece, Aides the brother of ...
— The Ramayana • VALMIKI

... unhappy prognostications speedily fulfilled! I was helpless and knew it. For a second time those whose dignified office it was to personify the charity of our Redeemer showed themselves the least charitable of mankind. I was chewing the sour cud of these reflections when I heard Virginia thanking the officers for their paternal resolves in her regard. Strange girl! She thanked Heaven, on ...
— The Fool Errant • Maurice Hewlett

... lover helpless. Love is not only the tenderest feeling, but it is also the most heroic and desperate fighter in behalf of the loved one. Here we are face to face with the contradictions that we always meet when we personify a quality or make an abstraction. Love may do the most hateful things; love may stunt, the character of the lover and the beloved. In other words, love, tender feeling, must be conjoined with intelligence, good judgment, determination and fairness before it is useful. It would be a nice ...
— The Foundations of Personality • Abraham Myerson

... meant theology By Beatrice, and not a mistress—I, Although my opinion may require apology, Deem this a commentator's fantasy, Unless indeed it was from his own knowledge he Decided thus, and show'd good reason why; I think that Dante's more abstruse ecstatics Meant to personify ...
— Don Juan • Lord Byron

... the street singing the frightful song he had sung when she was returning all in a perspiration and hideous from an adulterous meeting; it is the same blind man whom she saw at each of those meetings; the blind man who pursued her with his song and his importunity; it is he who comes now to personify human rage at the instant when Divine pity comes to her and follows her to the supreme moment of death! And this is called an outrage against public morals! But I say, on the contrary, that it is an homage to public ...
— The Public vs. M. Gustave Flaubert • Various

... at his best. His manner was clear and engaging; he moved his audience to tears and smiles. There was satire and tenderness and the marvellous insight that made him absolutely personify the writers he touched upon. The audience ...
— A Little Girl of Long Ago • Amanda Millie Douglas



Words linked to "Personify" :   attribute, typify, impute, personate, ascribe, symbolise, embody, stand for, personification, persona, body, symbolize, exemplify, person, be, assign, represent



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