per·​son | \ ˈpər-sᵊn How to pronounce person (audio) \

Definition of person

1 : human, individual sometimes used in combination especially by those who prefer to avoid man in compounds applicable to both sexes chairpersonspokesperson
2 : a character or part in or as if in a play : guise
3a : one of the three modes of being in the Trinitarian Godhead as understood by Christians
b : the unitary personality of Christ that unites the divine and human natures
4a archaic : bodily appearance
b : the body of a human being also : the body and clothing unlawful search of the person
5 : the personality of a human being : self
6 : one (such as a human being, a partnership, or a corporation) that is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties
7 : reference of a segment of discourse to the speaker, to one spoken to, or to one spoken of as indicated by means of certain pronouns or in many languages by verb inflection
in person
: in one's bodily presence the movie star appeared in person

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Other Words from person

personhood \ ˈpər-​sᵊn-​ˌhu̇d How to pronounce personhood (audio) \ noun

Examples of person in a Sentence

She is a very nice person. I saw a person standing on the dock. Any person who wants a refund must have a receipt. Most people here are quite friendly. The tickets are $25 per person. The person at the front desk will be able to help you. The tax break is only applicable to persons in a high income bracket. I like her as a person, but she is not a very good writer. The disease is easily transmitted from person to person. The dogs discovered that the men were hiding drugs about their persons.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Frantic employees squeezed into the stairwell, hurrying down flights, not knowing that the helicopter had crashed on top of their building, sparking a fire and leaving one person dead. Darran Simon, CNN, "A helicopter crash-landed on the roof of a New York City skyscraper. Then the building shook," 11 June 2019 One person suffered a minor injury, but no one was transported to a hospital, officials said. Emily Sweeney,, "MBTA officials to talk about Red Line derailment as workers rush to right train," 11 June 2019 One person was killed and four others were injured in a multi-vehicle crash near the Coral Ridge mall on Sunday night, police said. Victoria Ballard,, "1 dead, 4 injured in crash near Coral Ridge mall," 10 June 2019 There were a total of 804 such accounts; 46 were private and could not be accessed, one was a Holmes parody account (since deleted), and one person had two accounts. Liz Webber, Quartz at Work, "How the former employees of Theranos explain themselves on LinkedIn," 10 June 2019 Terms of the shorter 10-year deal were not announced, but one person with knowledge of the agreement said USC lost at least $25 million when the original pact was scrapped. Arash Markazi,, "Coliseum must live up to its name and actually recognize our veterans," 10 June 2019 Roseville police are diverting traffic from 12 Mile and Gratiot roads after a Monday morning, two-car crash in which one person was taken to the hospital and one of the drivers was arrested after apparently trying to run away. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "Crash at 12 Mile and Gratiot injures 1 person, closes intersection," 10 June 2019 Social media influencers are often one-person businesses, but a whole ecosystem of intermediary actors has developed around them. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz, "A whole ecosystem of companies influences the influencers," 10 June 2019 This Week in the CLE Only one person knows for sure what drove prominent Cleveland defense attorney Roger Synenberg to send an anonymous letter to Huron City calling Cuyahoga County Auditor Cory Swaisgood a snitch., "What was he thinking? Defense attorney Roger Synenberg sends anonymous letter calling a witness against his client a snitch – This Week in the CLE," 9 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'person.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of person

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for person

Middle English, from Anglo-French persone, from Latin persona actor's mask, character in a play, person, probably from Etruscan phersu mask, from Greek prosōpa, plural of prosōpon face, mask — more at prosopopoeia

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Statistics for person

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for person

The first known use of person was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for person



English Language Learners Definition of person

: a human being
: a person who likes or enjoys something specified
law : the body or clothing of a person especially when considered as a place to hide things


per·​son | \ ˈpər-sᵊn How to pronounce person (audio) \

Kids Definition of person

1 : a human being considered as an individual I had never heard a person speak Arabic.
Hint: The word person is sometimes used in compounds especially to avoid man in words that apply to both sexes. chairperson
2 : the body of a human being Keep your person neat.



Legal Definition of person

2 : the body of a human being also : the body and clothing of a human being had drugs on his person
3 : one (as a human being or corporation) that is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties — see also juridical person, legal person, personality

Other Words from person

personhood noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on person

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with person

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for person

Spanish Central: Translation of person

Nglish: Translation of person for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of person for Arabic Speakers

Comments on person

What made you want to look up person? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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