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 With the Seaport, there was the chance to develop something filled with personality, reflective of the city’s diversity, history, culture, and fishing industry., "Amid restaurant closures, opportunity on the horizon," 8 May 2021 But one magnetic personality aimed for a more personal way of engaging with his guests, one that put them on equal ground. CNN, "How the late night talk show set became an American icon," 7 May 2021 That's very much the time when the baby is developing a personality, laughing, smiling, cooing, and being interactive with you. Megan Zhang, Bon Appétit, "This Chef Is Making Postpartum Nutrition More Delicious and Diverse," 5 May 2021 Those who know her best say privately that Ms. Cheney’s predicament reflects both her principles and her personality, including a stubborn streak that sometimes prompts her to act against her self-interest. New York Times, "House Republicans Have Had Enough of Liz Cheney’s Truth-Telling," 4 May 2021 Cobb noted then his excitement at representing Orlando on a broader stage, but his colorful personality, towering presence and patchwork of tattoos belied his gentle and charitable nature, born in part of his upbringing. Amy Drew Thompson,, "Orlando mourns Git-n-Messy’s Chuck Cobb, a towering presence with a tender heart," 30 Apr. 2021 My gifts include my active personality, talents in education and bold outsider ideas for excellence in organizational leadership within government. Enquirer Editorial Board, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati mayoral candidate Herman Najoli: 'I am the unlikeliest of candidates'," 30 Apr. 2021 More concerning, in terms of the movie itself, is that Jordan is essentially a walking action figure, with little personality, nuance or depth beyond what the actor implicitly offers off-script. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, "‘Without Remorse’ Review: Michael B. Jordan Can’t Save Generic Action Throwback," 28 Apr. 2021 Kloots can customize a regimen based on personality, strength, and fitness level. Jamie Rosen, Town & Country, "The Comeback Coaches Helping Us Prepare for Post-Pandemic Life," 26 Apr. 2021

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

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Personality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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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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