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 person (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 Schloth said in order for a school that is in either a high- or extreme-risk county to opt in, the school must have limited in-person instruction and plan to go into hybrid learning before the end of the school year. oregonlive, "Coronavirus marks its presence early as a foe to reckon with this high school football season," 4 Mar. 2021 Connecting in person was generally impractical and unsafe. Indy Guha, Forbes, "Maslow's Theory Of Covid-19 Commerce: How The Pandemic Exposed Our Hierarchy Of Needs," 4 Mar. 2021 Roughly $840 million of these dollars are tied to the fate of HB 4049, a controversial bill that would prevent the state health department from issuing any orders that would ban in-person classes or stop sporting events due to COVID-19. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan GOP goes after state pandemic powers again with $4.2 billion COVID-19 relief plan," 4 Mar. 2021 The move comes about a year after schools initially closed in-person classes to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Rachel Leingang, The Arizona Republic, "Gov. Doug Ducey orders Arizona schools to reopen for in-person learning," 4 Mar. 2021 Creel, her husband, and their 8- and 12-year-old moved from Timonium to Hereford in June, so the kids have yet to see their new classmates and teachers in person. Jean Marbella,, "‘It’s put the future on hold’ — A year of shutdown has changed how we work, play and navigate a pandemic-altered world," 4 Mar. 2021 They were scheduled to return to in-person classes on Thursday. NBC News, "15-year-old boy dies days after shooting at Arkansas junior high school," 4 Mar. 2021 Almost a year has passed since Gordon last saw Diane in person. Los Angeles Times, "Separated by Alzheimer’s and COVID, this husband hopes he can be reunited with his wife," 4 Mar. 2021 Districts that resume in-person learning after that date won't get any of that money. Adam Beam, Star Tribune, "California Legislature OKs plan aimed at in-person learning," 4 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for person

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for person

Last Updated

6 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Person.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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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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