im·​per·​son·​al (ˌ)im-ˈpər-sə-nəl How to pronounce impersonal (audio)
: having no personal reference or connection
impersonal criticism
: not engaging the human personality or emotions
the machine as compared with the hand tool is an impersonal agencyJohn Dewey
: not existing as a person : not having human qualities or characteristics
: denoting the verbal action of an unspecified agent and hence used with no expressed subject (such as methinks) or with a merely formal subject (such as rained in it rained)
of a pronoun : indefinite
(ˌ)im-ˈpər-sə-nə-lē How to pronounce impersonal (audio)

Examples of impersonal in a Sentence

We discussed the weather and other impersonal topics. He maintained an impersonal, professional attitude. “Rained” in “it rained” is an impersonal verb.
Recent Examples on the Web With the failure of impersonal social agencies, people want to return to personal rule. Sean Illing, Vox, 7 July 2024 Not only is there no better way to demonstrate fitness and agility than to press flesh, but these exchanges play to Biden’s strong suit, in one-on-one and small group exchanges instead of impersonal, large, staged events. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, TIME, 2 July 2024 But for centuries, Europe had been building a new type of economic infrastructure, based on impersonal exchange and a commercial life dominated by large, durable, and structurally complex profit-making enterprises. Timur Kuran, Foreign Affairs, 16 Dec. 2010 The courts force you into a grand, impersonal institution that knows so little about you. Simar Kaur, Hartford Courant, 12 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for impersonal 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impersonal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Late Latin impersonalis, from Latin in- + Late Latin personalis personal

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of impersonal was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near impersonal

Cite this Entry

“Impersonal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


im·​per·​son·​al (ˈ)im-ˈpərs-nəl How to pronounce impersonal (audio)
: having no expressed subject or no subject other than "it"
"rained" in "it rained" is an impersonal verb
: not personal:
: not showing or involving personal feelings : detached
an impersonal professional attitude
: not caring about individual persons or their feelings
cold impersonal cities
a giant impersonal corporation
impersonally adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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