Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Anthropomorphic

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The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is anthropomorphic. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Anthropomorphic means “described or thought of as being like human beings in appearance, behavior, etc.”

// The story chronicles the adventures of a group of anthropomorphic forest critters.

ANTHROPOMORPHIC in Context

“Dream and his six siblings are the anthropomorphic personifications of universal concepts. Despite their cosmic importance, they also bicker and bond like a real family.” — Christian Holub, Entertainment Weekly, 26 July 2022

Did You Know?

As word lovers, we are endlessly fascinated by the uniqueness and complexity of human language. Many species use sounds and gestures to communicate with one another, but the ability to speak in full sentences, to share abstract ideas, and to write and tell stories is distinctly anthropic. Brilliant though dogs may be, they can’t verbalize their hopes and dreams. That is, unless those dogs are anthropomorphic—a trait common in works of fiction. From chatty chiweenies to tangoing tapirs, depictions of anthropomorphic animals abound thanks to our creative superpowers.

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