per·​so·​na | \ pər-ˈsō-nə How to pronounce persona (audio) , -ˌnä\
plural personae\ pər-​ˈsō-​(ˌ)nē How to pronounce personae (audio) , -​ˌnī \ or personas

Definition of persona

1 : a character assumed by an author in a written work
2a plural personas [ New Latin, from Latin ] : an individual's social facade or front that especially in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung reflects the role in life the individual is playing — compare anima
b : the personality that a person (such as an actor or politician) projects in public : image
3 plural personae : a character in a fictional presentation (such as a novel or play) usually used in plural comic personae

Examples of persona in a Sentence

His public persona is that of a strong, determined leader, but in private life he's very insecure. The band takes on a whole new persona when they perform live.

Recent Examples on the Web

Game of Thrones actors past and present looked good—and quite different from their onscreen personas. Glamour, "What All the Game of Thrones Women Wore to the Season 8 Premiere Red Carpet," 4 Apr. 2019 Gronkowski was a hit with the average fan — from kids to grandparents — because of his endearing persona that made him about as A-list as any athlete. Dan Gelston, The Seattle Times, "Gronk unleashed: Gronkowski sets course for retirement fun," 25 Mar. 2019 Among those who used his services were Russian nationals who posted divisive social-media messages, invented fake personas and staged rallies with the strategic goal of sowing discord in American politics in 2016, prosecutors say. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "Mueller Target Gets Six Months in Prison for Selling Bank Data to Russians," 10 Oct. 2018 The tension between persona and person, familiar to all who are touched by even a feather of fame, is evident in Wynn’s work and online presence. Katherine Cross, The Verge, "The Oscar Wilde of YouTube fights the alt-right with decadence and seduction," 24 Aug. 2018 Mixing traditional standards of femininity and masculinity is a signature and important part of Pattie’s persona. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Meet Pattie Gonia, the Backpacking Drag Queen Promoting Inclusivity in the Outdoors," 11 Dec. 2018 Hornets owner Michael Jordan saw some of himself in Walker’s persona, and suggested the front office give a long look at drafting the 6-1 point guard. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Hey, NBA commish: Kemba Walker’s All-Star nod should be a done deal," 31 Jan. 2018 Bradley Cooper is taking the stage at the Oscars 2019, to perform a duet with his A Star Is Born co-star Lady Gaga, but his rock star persona from the movie probably won't be back. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bradley Cooper Won't Perform as Jackson Maine at the Oscars 2019," 16 Feb. 2019 The charges say the Russian defendants, using a persona known as Guccifer 2.0, in August 2016 contacted a person in touch with the Trump campaign to offer help. Eric Tucker, The Seattle Times, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s untruths on Russia probe, wall, jobs," 6 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'persona.' 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 persona

1732, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for persona


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Statistics for persona

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for persona

The first known use of persona was in 1732

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English Language Learners Definition of persona

: the way you behave, talk, etc., with other people that causes them to see you as a particular kind of person : the image or personality that a person presents to other people


per·​so·​na | \ pər-ˈsō-nə, -ˌnä How to pronounce persona (audio) \
plural personas

Medical Definition of persona

: an individual's social facade or front that especially in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung reflects the role in life the individual is playing — compare anima sense 1

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