persona non grata


per·​so·​na non gra·​ta pər-ˈsō-nə-ˌnän-ˈgra-tə How to pronounce persona non grata (audio) -ˈgrä- How to pronounce persona non grata (audio)
plural personae non gratae pər-ˈsō-(ˌ)nē-ˌnän-ˈgra-(ˌ)tē How to pronounce persona non grata (audio)
: a person who is unacceptable or unwelcome
Luis Villoro is hardly a persona non grata. As he approaches the age of eighty, his position in the intelligentsia is secure.Scott Sherman
typically used without a or the
… English scientist James Lovelock, co-author of the Gaia hypothesis and once an environmental demigod. Lovelock has become persona non grata by saying that the ecosphere is so resilient no amount of human malfeasance, including nuclear war, could end life.Gregg Easterbrook
"We'd been very good friends for millions of years and I thought it was a bit much for them suddenly to be personae non gratae and out of my life."Paul McCartney

Examples of persona non grata in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ecuador responded to López Obrador’s remarks by declaring the Mexican ambassador persona non grata. Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2024 Lula, meanwhile, has taken a more strident stance than other non-Western leaders on the Israel-Hamas war, comparing Israel’s offensive in Gaza to the Holocaust—comments that got the Brazilian president declared persona non grata in Israel in February. Comfort Ero, Foreign Affairs, 1 Apr. 2024 This made her persona non grata within the Democratic Party. The Editors, National Review, 6 Mar. 2024 While the titular star of The Cosby Show is basically persona non grata these days, Phylicia Rashad's Clair Huxtable has remained almost unimpeachable. Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 30 June 2023 Fellow actor Yoo Ah-in, currently on trial on charges of using ketamine, marijuana and cocaine, is now widely regarded as persona non grata in the South Korean entertainment industry. Max Kim, Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2024 Additionally, any customer caught flipping the EV for a profit would immediately become persona non grata in the brand’s eyes. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 2 Feb. 2024 Lala’s feelings and decision to reach out to her former costar came as a shock to her castmates — especially Ariana — who still believed that Rachel was persona non grata in the friend group. Stephanie Wenger, Peoplemag, 31 Jan. 2024 In the course of the film, Paul transforms from a nobody to a somebody to persona non grata. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 12 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'persona non grata.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, unacceptable person

First Known Use

1877, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of persona non grata was in 1877

Dictionary Entries Near persona non grata

Cite this Entry

“Persona non grata.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!