AskDefine | Define objectify

Dictionary Definition



1 make external or objective, or give reality to; "language externalizes our thoughts" [syn: exteriorize, exteriorise, externalize, externalise]
2 make impersonal or present as an object; "Will computers depersonalize human interactions?"; "Pornography objectifies women" [syn: depersonalize, depersonalise] [ant: personalize, personalize] [also: objectified]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (Canada) /əbˈdʒɛktɪˌfaɪ/


  1. to make something (such as an abstract idea) possible to be perceived by the senses
    • 1906: Jack London, White Fang
      It was the unknown, objectified at last, in concrete flesh and blood, bending over him and reaching down to seize hold of him.
  2. to treat as something objectively real
    • 1921: Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow
      The mystic objectifies a rich feeling in the pit of the stomach into a cosmology.
  3. to treat as a mere object and deny the dignity of
    • 1999: Dawson's Creek (TV, episode 3.04)
      The entire notion of cheerleading is just a sexist attempt to try to objectify the female body.

Extensive Definition

Objectification is the process by which people assign meaning to things, people, places, activities, (or, in the case of self-objectification, themselves), and thus become part of cultural constructions which inform and guide behavior. This term also refers to behavior in which one person treats another person as an object and not as a fellow human being with feelings and consciousness of his or her own, in other words as, as without agency. In this sense, it is a synonym of reification.
The terms also makes reference to sexual relations; in this context it refers to the reduction of a person solely to their sexual attributes, enacted by an emphasis upon their physical appearance, whilst deemphasising several of their other qualities, such as individual emotion and feeling. Sexual objectification may be enacted by either sex, but it is more commonly associated with an attitude of men towards women, and the term has been used by feminists in reference to the purported mass media portrayal of women as sex objects. As such, it is important within feminist and psychological theory.
objectify in Chinese: 物化

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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