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em- +‎ body



embody (third-person singular simple present embodies, present participle embodying, simple past and past participle embodied)

  1. (transitive) To represent in a physical or concrete form; to incarnate or personify.
    As the car salesman approached, wearing a plaid suit and slicked-back hair, he seemed to embody sleaze.
    • (Can we date this quote by South and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      The soul, while it is embodied, can no more be divided from sin.
    • 2012 November 7, Matt Bai, “Winning a Second Term, Obama Will Confront Familiar Headwinds”, in New York Times[1]:
      The generational shift Mr. Obama once embodied is, in fact, well under way, but it will not change Washington as quickly — or as harmoniously — as a lot of voters once hoped.
  2. (transitive) To represent in some other form such as a code of laws.
    The US Constitution aimed to embody the ideals of diverse groups of people, from Puritans to Deists.
    The principle was recognized by some of the early Greek philosophers who embodied it in their systems.
  3. (transitive) To comprise or include as part of a cohesive whole; to be made up of.
    • 1962, Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office (page 1261)
      For use in a nursery for cradling a baby to sleep, a baby cradler comprising, in combination, a stand embodying a mobile base, uprights attached to and rising perpendicularly from the base and having axially aligned bearings, [...]
  4. (intransitive) To unite in a body or mass.
    • 1794, Robert Southey, Wat Tyler. A Dramatic Poem. In Three Acts, London: Printed [by J. M‘Creery] for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, [], published 1817, OCLC 362102, Act III, pages 55–56:
      Nay, my good friend—the people will remain / Embodied peaceably, till Parliament / Confirm the royal charter: tell your king so: / We will await the Charter's confirmation, / Meanwhile comporting ourselves orderly / As peaceful citizens, not risen in tumult, / But to redress their evils.


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