per·​son·​al·​i·​ty | \ ˌpər-sə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce personality (audio) , ˌpər-ˈsna- \
plural personalities

Definition of personality

1a : the quality or state of being a person
b : personal existence
2a : the condition or fact of relating to a particular person specifically : the condition of referring directly to or being aimed disparagingly or hostilely at an individual
b : an offensively personal remark angrily resorted to personalities
3a : the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual or a nation or group especially : the totality of an individual's behavioral and emotional characteristics
b : a set of distinctive traits and characteristics the energetic personality of the city
4a : distinction or excellence of personal and social traits also : a person having such quality
b : a person of importance, prominence, renown, or notoriety a TV personality

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Choose the Right Synonym for personality

disposition, temperament, temper, character, personality mean the dominant quality or qualities distinguishing a person or group. disposition implies customary moods and attitude toward the life around one. a cheerful disposition temperament implies a pattern of innate characteristics associated with one's specific physical and nervous organization. an artistic temperament temper implies the qualities acquired through experience that determine how a person or group meets difficulties or handles situations. a resilient temper character applies to the aggregate of moral qualities by which a person is judged apart from intelligence, competence, or special talents. strength of character personality applies to an aggregate of qualities that distinguish one as a person. a somber personality

Examples of personality in a Sentence

He has a very pleasant personality. We all have different personalities. The psychiatrist considered behavior as well as personality before prescribing a treatment. He has lots of personality. He wants to buy a car that has personality. She has met many television personalities. He was an influential personality in genetic engineering.
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Recent Examples on the Web Taylor - who previously worked in broadcasting - has an engaging personality and dry sense of humor, traits that should make for a lively listen. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Stow businessman launching wine podcast," 31 May 2020 The 26th annual L’Arche Football Preview will be held virtually Thursday and will feature Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, Alabama head coach Nick Saban and 14 other college head coaches, coordinators, media personalities and others. Ben Thomas |, al, "L’Arche Preview: How to watch Nick Saban, Gus Malzahn, others for free Thursday," 26 May 2020 To his complete surprise, Lucy’s endearing personality and knack for entertaining an audience make Snow’s job a little easier. Dallas News, "Suzanne Collins’ ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ delivers," 22 May 2020 Phyllis George, a former Miss America, television personality and ex-wife of Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. died in Lexington at age 70. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "Public visitation and private memorial planned for Phyllis George, who died May 14," 21 May 2020 Just last year, the Warriors fell victim to major injuries, polarizing personalities and locker-room turmoil. Connor Letourneau,, "Young Warriors relish learning about Michael Jordan, ‘the one who changed the game’," 15 May 2020 The Branch Davidians were portrayed at the time as a personality cult assembled in Koresh’s image. New York Times, "A 2-Year-Old TV Series’s Accidental Pandemic Commentary," 14 May 2020 To investigate this theory, Skinner devised a novel experiment to assess the personalities and sociability of eastern garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis). Tom Gantert, National Geographic, "See the Full Archive," 13 May 2020 The parallels between the tennis star’s confrontational, volatile on-court personality and Devi’s explosive temperament become obvious throughout the show. Anna Purna Kambhampaty, Time, "'I Wish I Had a Show Like This Growing Up.' Breakout Star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan on the Power of Netflix's Never Have I Ever," 27 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'personality.' 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 personality

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for personality

Middle English personalite, from Anglo-French personalité, from Late Latin personalitat-, personalitas, from personalis

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Time Traveler for personality

Time Traveler

The first known use of personality was in the 15th century

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Statistics for personality

Last Updated

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Personality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for personality


How to pronounce personality (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of personality

: the set of emotional qualities, ways of behaving, etc., that makes a person different from other people
: attractive qualities (such as energy, friendliness, and humor) that make a person interesting or pleasant to be with
: attractive qualities that make something unusual or interesting


per·​son·​al·​i·​ty | \ ˌpər-sə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce personality (audio) \
plural personalities

Kids Definition of personality

1 : the qualities (as moods or habits) that make one human being different from others She has a cheerful personality.
2 : a human being's pleasing or interesting qualities He doesn't have much personality.
3 : a famous person


per·​son·​al·​i·​ty | \ ˌpərs-ᵊn-ˈal-ət-ē, ˌpər-ˈsnal- How to pronounce personality (audio) \
plural personalities

Medical Definition of personality

1 : the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual especially in relationships with others
2a : the totality of an individual's behavioral and emotional tendencies
b : the organization of the individual's distinguishing character traits, attitudes, or habits

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plural personalities

Legal Definition of personality

1 : the quality, state, or fact of being a person the corporation has legal personality
2 : the totality of an individual's behavioral and emotional characteristics a personality disorder

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