Anthropomorphism, or personification, is attribution of human form or other characteristics to anything other than a human being. Examples include depicting deities with human form and ascribing human emotions or motives to forces of nature, such as hurricanes or earthquakes.
Anthropomorphism has ancient roots as a literary device in storytelling, and also in art. Most cultures have traditional fables with anthropomorphised animals, which can stand or talk like humans, as characters.
The word anthropomorphism was first used in the mid-1700s. The word derives from the Greek ἄνθρωπος (ánthrōpos), “human”, and μορφή (morphē), “shape” or “form”.