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

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 Sory used props and occasionally even provided clothes for his portrait subjects, allowing people to role-play and create personas that evoke the period’s optimistic spirit. Chris Abani, The New Republic, "Capturing a lost era in Sanlé Sory’s studio portraits in Burkina Faso," 19 Apr. 2018 But when a recent disinformation research project led me to a Pinterest board of anti-Islamic memes, one night of clicking through those pins—created by fake personas affiliated with the Internet Research Agency—turned my feed upside down. Renee Diresta, WIRED, "Up Next: A Better Recommendation System," 11 Apr. 2018 Last month, 13 individuals affiliated with an agency in Russia were indicted for creating fake social media personas to promote divisive public events or share political material online. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "What we believe Mueller is investigating," 7 Mar. 2018 For instance, a Gemini's Tinder profile may show a creative, mysterious, and independent persona that is highly attractive — and likely, highly curated. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Online Dating Style," 6 July 2018 While a chronic condition, closer reintegration of the various personas usually improves well-being over time. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Emotional trauma can lead to dissociative identity disorder," 3 July 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

19 Oct 2018

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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 \
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

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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