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 Later in his career, Mr. Morales was a radio personality at WMIB-FM and WEDR-FM in Miami and on SiriusXM. Michael Levenson,, "Prince Markie Dee, founding member of rap trio Fat Boys, dies at 52," 19 Feb. 2021 Rush Limbaugh was not the first American radio personality to gain fame and fortune and exert influence by talking into a microphone. Philip Terzian, Washington Examiner, "Rush Limbaugh, 1951-2021," 18 Feb. 2021 With his celebrity interviews, political debates and topical discussions, King wasn't just an enduring on-air personality. The Associated Press,, "Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87," 23 Jan. 2021 My intention is not to be a Spanish TV personality. New York Times, "The Hilaria Baldwin Story: ‘I’m Living My Life’," 30 Dec. 2020 Beebs is the man behind the scenes who keeps thing running, and Munch is the veteran on-air personality. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Radio duo Munch Bishop, Chris Beeble offer favorite dining choices - Five for Friday," 24 Dec. 2020 But there is scant personality in any prospective candidate field without Trump, which is how Trump wound up president in the tragic first place, and, conceivably, might again. John Brummett, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | JOHN BRUMMETT: In Trump's footsteps," 14 Dec. 2020 But that is a huge personality and ego to airlift into this mix. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Will Heat soon have another big man stepping outside?," 9 Dec. 2020 Herbstreit is not the only college football personality to suggest struggling teams might use COVID-19 as an excuse to not play better competition. Creg Stephenson |, al, "Kirk Herbstreit apologizes for suggesting Michigan might ‘opt out’ vs. Ohio State," 2 Dec. 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

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Personality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for personality



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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