per·son | \ˈpər-sᵊn \

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 \ 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

Two people in Kentucky and one person in Ohio have been sickened by Honey Smacks. Sarah Brookbank,, "Honey Smacks recall: 100 salmonella infections in 33 states," 13 July 2018 Even years after Jones engineered the November 1978 massacre of more than 900 persons in Guyana, Thrash did not doubt his healing abilities. Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, "She woke up in Jonestown — everyone was dead," 13 July 2018 But that didn’t deter people like 52-year-old Andrew Spence, who for a short time, was the last person in line. Trisha Thadani,, "On 1st day, SF Mayor Breed makes herself at home and invites a few friends," 12 July 2018 The President of the United States is the most important and powerful person in the free world; in contrast, the President of Russia is practically nobody. Bill Browder, Time, "I've Been Putin's Number One Foreign Enemy for a Decade. Here's What Trump Should Know About Handling Him," 12 July 2018 And Dwight Hammond’s wife, Susie, praised one person in particular, a thin man who stood by in black pants and a purple button-up shirt. New York Times, "How a Tycoon and Pence Friend Helped 2 Ranchers Get Pardons," 12 July 2018 That's when officers found a person in the parking lot of TUFT, which is a furniture store, who had been shot. charlotteobserver, "Bar employee shot early Wednesday, seriously injured in Plaza Midwood," 11 July 2018 Chicago police and fire marine units responded about 12:10 p.m. after a 911 caller saw a person in the water, officials said. Peter Nickeas,, "Crews respond to South Loop for river rescue," 10 July 2018 Apple also employs around 6,000 persons in Ireland. Fortune, "This Irish Bill Could Create Huge Problems for U.S. Companies Like Apple," 9 July 2018

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

18 Oct 2018

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 \

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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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).


one that holds something together

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