tr.v. per·son·i·fied, per·son·i·fy·ing, per·son·i·fies
1. To think of or represent (an inanimate object or abstraction) as having personality or the qualities, thoughts, or movements of a living being: "To make history or psychology alive I personify it" (Anaïs Nin).
2. To represent (an object or abstraction) by a human figure.
3. To represent (an abstract quality or idea): This character personifies evil.
4. To be the embodiment or perfect example of: "Stalin now personified bolshevism in the eyes of the world" (A.J.P. Taylor).
[French personnifier, from personne, person, from Old French persone; see PERSON.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.