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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 form; to incarnate or personify
    As the car salesman approached, wearing a plaid suit and slicked-back hair, he seemed to embody sleaze.
    • South
      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 include or represent, especially as part of a cohesive whole
    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. (intransitive) To unite in a body or mass.


Derived terms[edit]