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1846, "act of materializing," from Latin re-, stem of res "thing" + -fication. In Marxist jargon, translating German Verdinglichung.
the treatment of something abstract as a material or concrete thing, as in the following lines from Matthew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach": The Sea of FaithWas once, too, at the full, and round earth's shoreLay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.