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

Cranston has layered thick his white-man ennui, tapping into but also reinventing that Walter White–flavored despair in the persona of Howard Beale, a struggling news anchor at the end of his rope. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "A New Theatrical Adaptation of Network Is All About the Rage," 7 Dec. 2018 This has left many with an uneasy sense that the Crosby persona of easygoing affability was a façade for a darker private life. Ted Gioia, WSJ, "‘Bing Crosby’ Review: Nothin’ but Blue Skies," 8 Nov. 2018 The officers—one of whom operated under the persona of Guccifer 2.0—then dispersed sensitive communications in an attempt to influence the results of the 2016 election, prosecutors alleged. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "12 Russian intel officers indicted for hacking the DNC and Clinton campaign," 13 July 2018 In short, Camila on Wednesday night was perfectly rocking both sides of our holiday season persona: the party-ready, sequin-clad fashionista…and the Netflix-watching, onesie-wearing lounger. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Camila Cabello Wore Butt Flap Pajamas on the Red Carpet," 6 Dec. 2018 Magazine, Styling by George Cortina Shifting her persona from a whiskey-drinking, cigarette-smoking cool girl to a health nut had an unintended effect. Elisa Lipsky-karasz, WSJ, "Gwyneth Paltrow Wants to Convert You," 4 Dec. 2018 Typical of his non-flashy persona, Maten plans a quiet draft night with his mother and sister Nia at Page's home. Mark Spezia, Detroit Free Press, "Bloomfield Hills' Yante Maten praying, preparing for life in NBA," 19 June 2018 Each drag persona is as unique as the person under the makeup. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "For 'Drag Race' winner Trixie Mattel, Barbie beauty combined with Wisconsin-bred humor is a winning combination," 23 Mar. 2018 During his five seasons as Hornets coach, Clifford became known for a very direct, frank persona with players, his bosses and Charlotte media. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "What's ex-Hornets coach Steve Clifford's new gig? (It's glam, but no tie) | Charlotte Observer," 24 Apr. 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

12 Jan 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 \
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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