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Coined in the mid-1700s. From Ancient Greek ἄνθρωπος (ánthrōpos, man, human being) and μορφή (morphḗ, form, shape)


anthropomorphism (countable and uncountable, plural anthropomorphisms)

  1. The attribution of human characteristics and behavior to something not human. [from the mid-18th c.]
  2. (theology) the attribution of human characteristics to divine beings

Usage notes[edit]

This term carries very different connotations when used in different contexts. In literature, anthropomorphism describes merely a device of fiction writing, whereas in science (particularly biology) anthropomorphism has traditionally been used pejoratively when a scientist appears to be attributing to animals characteristics that are assumed to be exclusive to human beings.

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