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

Then there is the movie career in which Williams tried to break away from his persona as the manic clown and have his acting taken seriously. Peter Keough,, "Doc Talk: A sad clown and a happy collector," 12 July 2018 That was something that was clear from his writing and from his persona. Dennis Mclellan,, "Harlan Ellison dies at 84; acclaimed science fiction writer was known for combative style," 28 June 2018 Trump first announced an interest in combatting cyberbullying on the campaign trail, which raised eyebrows given the bombastic and combative persona her husband has online. Maya Rhodan, Time, "Americans Like First Lady Melania Trump, Poll Shows," 7 May 2018 But there has been little hard evidence, because the persona generally went online using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, to mask the origin of its activities. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "The Mysterious DNC Hacker Has Been Confirmed as a Russian Intelligence Front," 24 Mar. 2018 Taylor Swift famously deleted her previous social media activity in summer 2017 before releasing reputation as a way of symbolizing a new era and persona for the singer., "Why Did Miley Cyrus Delete Her Instagram Posts? Fans Have A Few Theories," 14 July 2018 The messages were released through fictitious personas like DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0. Eric Tucker,, "Moscow accused of US election meddling in indictment," 13 July 2018 That scene features participants and enthusiasts who were often young, black or Latino and gay or transgender and took on fictitious personas that elevated their status into the stratosphere — if only for the duration of the ball. Melissa Magsaysay,, "Strike a 'Pose.' Here's a look at the fashion from Ryan Murphy's FX drama," 12 July 2018 At the competition, Anderson — who competes under the persona Spudboy, inspired by his favorite band, Devo — plans to rock out to a medley of five Devo songs. Grace Dickinson,, "How to slay at the U.S. Air Guitar Regional Championships in Philadelphia," 27 June 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

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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