From what I understand the word "personify" is defined to "represent (a quality or concept) by a figure in human form." The word I am looking for is the opposite. More specifically, I am looking for a word that "represents a human by a quality or concept." This is how I want to use it:

"When life hands you lemons, you make some lemonade." The preceding quote depicts adaptability and flexibility. It, in a way, personifies me.

The bolded word is what I am looking for.

Note: A similar question on "personification" on this Stack Exchange was not of very much help.

  • characterize and synonyms; also set phrases like sums me up.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 30, 2017 at 9:45
  • 2
    The opposite of personify (e.g. dehumanise, objectify) doesn't seem to fit your sample sentence. Personification has to do with treating abstract qualities as though they were people. The opposite would be to treat people as though they were abstract qualities. I think what you're after is something more like describing (or characterising, as @DanBron has it) people in abstract terms. Alternatively, you might turn your example around and say that you personify those abstract qualities.
    – Lawrence
    Jun 30, 2017 at 9:57
  • Possible duplicate of What is the opposite of "personification"? Jun 30, 2017 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


A particular word defines you.

According to Merriam-Webster, "To determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning of..."

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