from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To give a bodily form to; incarnate.
  • transitive verb To represent in bodily or material form.
  • transitive verb To make part of a system or whole; incorporate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To paint with body or solidity. See impasto.
  • To invest with an animate body; lodge in a physical form; incarnate; hence, to give form to; formulate; coördinate the elements or principles of; express, arrange, or exemplify intelligibly or perceptibly: as, to embody thought in words; legislation is embodied in statutes; architecture is embodied art.
  • To form or collect into a body or united mass; collect into a whole; incorporate; organize; concentrate: as, to embody troops; to embody scattered traditions or folk-lore.
  • Synonyms To combine, compact, integrate, comprehend, comprise.
  • To unite into a body, mass, or collection; coalesce.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To unite in a body, a mass, or a collection; to coalesce.
  • transitive verb To form into a body; to invest with a body; to collect into a body, a united mass, or a whole; to incorporate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To represent in a physical form; to incarnate or personify
  • verb transitive To include or represent, especially as part of a cohesive whole

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb represent, as of a character on stage
  • verb represent or express something abstract in tangible form
  • verb represent in bodily form


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word embody.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.