Definition of impersonal
1a : 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
2a : 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
impersonalityplay \(ˌ)im-ˌpər-sə-ˈna-lə-tē\ noun
impersonallyplay \(ˌ)im-ˈpərs-nə-lē, -ˈpər-sə-nə-lē\ adverb
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.
Origin and Etymology of impersonal
Middle English, from Late Latin impersonalis, from Latin in- + Late Latin personalis personal
First Known Use: 15th century
IMPERSONAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of impersonal for English Language Learners
: 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”
IMPERSONAL Defined for Kids
Definition of impersonal for Students
1 : not caring about individual persons or their feelings <She disliked the large impersonal city.>
2 : not showing or involving personal feelings <We discussed the weather and other impersonal topics.>
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