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What's the difference between "incarnation" and "embodiment"? I didn't get a clear distinction from Webster. Is it like "incarnation" is more about a state and "embodiment" is more about an action? Or is it like "incarnation" is more about a living being and "embodiment" is more about an idea or a notion?

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  • No difference except in the case of divine beings taking human form. Please don't make me document that. (I mean the usage, not the transformation.)
    – deadrat
    Dec 12 '16 at 5:35
  • I believe incarnation implies another form of existence prior to the transformation. Dec 12 '16 at 6:39
  • Etymology. Embodiment vs. incarnation. May 26 '20 at 21:32
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Incarnation is all about the previous state and a transformation after its life. If you say "This dog must be a rabbit incarnate", you are saying that the dog has a lot of rabbit like qualities. This may be physical (like ears), or the fact that they like to hop around. This also implies that the animal/person lived another life. You would always be an incarnate of a living thing.

Embodiment is to embrace or display a trait. You may say "This dog is the embodiment of joy". You can embody a lot of things, unlike incarnation, these can be non-living things. While they can mean roughly the same thing, there is some nuances in usage as well as meaning.

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