per·​so·​na | \pər-ˈsō-nə, -ˌnä\
plural personae\ pər-​ˈsō-​(ˌ)nē , -​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

That plays into his whole persona of being this progressive stalwart. Andrew Seidman,, "Analysis: Shutdown averted in N.J., but no lasting peace among Dems," 2 July 2018 Lauren: Firstly, Patricia created four distinct style personas, which is no easy feat. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Talking to the Women Behind the Most Popular Sex and the City Fashion Instagram Account," 30 May 2018 The 21-year-old actor also shared her own theory about Dark Betty's origin and why her character sometimes feels the need to escape into a completely different, darker persona. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Actor Lili Reinhart Talks About Dark Betty’s Black Wig," 26 Mar. 2018 But deep-diving into a new persona is a bridge too far. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "Zayn Malik's Blonde Beard Is a Learning Opportunity for Us All," 22 Mar. 2018 Comyns steps with intense identification into the persona of a woman who, in the Grimms’ telling, decapitates her stepson by dropping the lid of a trunk on his head in a moment of rage and then cooks him in a stew. Marina Warner, New York Times, "Evil Stepmother, Reimagined," 2 Feb. 2018 According to Joe, Chill is geared toward that LGBT person who dislikes labels such as ‘gay’ attached to their persona. Richard Prince, The Root, "Obama Was More Aware of Racism Than We Saw," 27 June 2018 There was a certain sense of romance to it, but also a little sporty with a jersey underneath and sneakers, which tied it back to his personal persona. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Every Single One of Jay-Z’s ‘Apesh*t’ Suits, Explained," 19 June 2018 Each actress is given a role that hews closely to her own persona. Katie Walsh, kansascity, "In ‘Book Club,’ watching Fonda, Bergen, Keaton and Steenburgen is a guilty pleasure | The Kansas City Star," 17 May 2018

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

2 Nov 2018

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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 \
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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Comments on persona

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something that serves to warn or remind

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