adjective \(ˌ)im-ˈpərs-nəl, -ˈpər-sə-nəl\

: having or showing no interest in individual people or their feelings : lacking emotional warmth

: not relating to or influenced by personal feelings

grammar : having no specified subject or no subject other than “it”

Full Definition of IMPERSONAL

a :  denoting the verbal action of an unspecified agent and hence used with no expressed subject (as methinks) or with a merely formal subject (as rained in it rained)
b of a pronoun :  indefinite
a :  having no personal reference or connection <impersonal criticism>
b :  not engaging the human personality or emotions <the machine as compared with the hand tool is an impersonal agency — John Dewey>
c :  not existing as a person :  not having human qualities or characteristics
im·per·son·al·i·ty \-ˌpər-sə-ˈna-lə-tē\ noun
im·per·son·al·ly \-ˈpərs-nə-lē, -ˈpər-sə-nə-lē\ adverb

Examples of IMPERSONAL

  1. We discussed the weather and other impersonal topics.
  2. He maintained an impersonal, professional attitude.
  3. Rained in it rained is an impersonal verb.


Middle English, from Late Latin impersonalis, from Latin in- + Late Latin personalis personal
First Known Use: 15th century


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