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anthropomorphism

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the attribution of human characteristics to divine beings

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The representation of the Deity, or of a polytheistic deity, under a human form, or with human attributes and affections.
  • n. The ascription of human characteristics to things not human.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The ascription of human attributes to supernatural or divine beings; in theology, the conception or representation of God with human qualities and affections, or in a human shape.
  • n. The conception of animals, plants, or nature in general, by analogy with man: commonly implying an unscientific use of such analogy.
  • n. In pragmatistic philos., that philosophic tendency which, recognizing an absolute impossibility in the attainment by man of any conception that does not refer to human life, proposes frankly to submit to this as a decree of experience and to shape metaphysics to agreement with it. The term was first used in this sense by F. C. S. Schiller (Riddles of the Sphinx). See humanism.

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

  • n. the representation of objects (especially a god) as having human form or traits

Etymologies

Coined in the mid-1700s. From Ancient Greek ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos, "man, human being") +‎ -morphism (Wiktionary)

Examples

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