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 That smile, and the persona behind it, brought so many together. Rashika Jaipuriar, The Indianapolis Star, "Honoring Breann Leath: IMPD, family remember officer a year after 'hard to accept' death," 9 Apr. 2021 Some researchers point to differences in writing styles at that time to suggest the Q persona changed hands. Washington Post, "A QAnon revelation suggests the truth of Q’s identity was right there all along," 5 Apr. 2021 An Evening with Walt Whitman Suspend your disbelief as Stephen Collins takes on the persona of Walt Whitman., "Five things to do, April 5-11," 2 Apr. 2021 The grace of Lew Alcindor and the funky persona of Bill Walton. Mark Heim |, al, "Michigan-UCLA live stream (3/30): How to watch March Madness’ Elite Eight online, TV, time," 30 Mar. 2021 The club, which had the persona of manager Kirk Gibson and his surrounding cast of former All-Star players-turned-coaches, found the most unexpected ways to win games. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Diamondbacks welcoming low expectations in 2021, hoping history repeats itself," 29 Mar. 2021 Miles has numerous commercials under his acting belt, but it’s the Jake persona that has made his face and voice a familiar one in households. Darcel Rockett,, "Jake from State Farm is South Side Kevin Miles: A year into the role, he can’t answer your questions about insurance, but he sure can sell it.," 20 Mar. 2021 And, likewise, John Hodgman’s character, just as adeptly, took on the persona of a PC and, by association, PC users. Allen Adamson, Forbes, "Four Reasons Actor Justin Long Won’t Do For The Intel Brand What He Did For Apple," 19 Mar. 2021 That central idea fits nicely with the onstage persona Bargatze has developed. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, "Nate Bargatze Invites You to Be Clueless, Too," 18 Mar. 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of persona was in 1732

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Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Persona.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 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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