per·​so·​na | \ pər-ˈsō-nə How to pronounce persona (audio) , -ˌnä \
plural personae\ pər-​ˈsō-​(ˌ)nē How to pronounce persona (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 Even without images, Muslims have cultivated a vivid mental picture of Muhammad, not just of his appearance but of his entire persona. Suleyman Dost, The Conversation, "Muslims have visualized Prophet Muhammad in words and calligraphic art for centuries," 24 Nov. 2020 Equal parts steely and maternal, the duality of her persona is explored throughout the season. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Gillian Anderson on Playing The Crown’s Iron Lady," 16 Nov. 2020 Trump, who came in as a party outsider, was able to bend the party to his whims, and turn it into an extension of his persona. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "The US backs away from authoritarianism," 10 Nov. 2020 Seclusion and withholding were part of her persona. Roxana Robinson, The New Yorker, "How I Met the Reclusive Georgia O’Keeffe," 1 Oct. 2020 His relationship with Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) has revealed new aspects of his persona. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Let's hear it for the 'Boys': From 'Lucifer' to 'Lovecraft,' these unlikely heroes rule TV," 21 Sep. 2020 Meanwhile, Biden’s personal connection to the faith remains a highly visible part of his political persona. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Joe Biden’s Catholic politics are complicated, but deeply American," 17 Aug. 2020 Because of the intense connection fragrance has with our emotions, changing your perfume is an easy way to switch up your mood or channel a different part of your persona. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "29 Powerful Women on Their Signature Scent," 7 Aug. 2020 For Schweikert, a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, the allegations of misspending hit directly at the heart of his political persona as a budget and finance expert. Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, "In deal, Rep. David Schweikert admits 11 ethics violations, to pay $50,000 fine," 30 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for persona

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The first known use of persona was in 1732

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Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Persona.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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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