per·​son·​al·​i·​ty | \ˌpər-sə-ˈna-lə-tē, 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

Either way, for Mr. Rambo, the venture into combating leaks appears to be the latest expression of an entrepreneurial personality. New York Times, "Border Agent Who Questioned Reporter Is Investigated for Computer Misuse," 12 July 2018 Offerman plays Frank Fisher, a cranky former musician who has run Red Hook Records in that trendy neighborhood of ultra-cool Brooklyn for 17 years without the benefit of an ideal retail personality. Kenneth Turan, Detroit Free Press, "Review: ‘Hearts Beat Loud’ makes some sweet music," 29 June 2018 The concept of an authoritarian personality is controversial among academics, and the definition of the term has been contested and changed over time. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The GOP Is Trump’s Personality Cult. Could Democrats Do the Same?," 27 June 2018 Walker fits that bill, and brings an inquisitive personality and a hardscrabble backstory that should fit in well with his new team. Steve Warns, San Antonio Express-News, "Writers’ roundtable: Who won the NBA Draft, what’s next with Kawhi Leonard," 23 June 2018 Your personality is what makes you, well, you — even if experts can’t settle on an exact definition of the word. Lacy Schley, Discover Magazine, "Personality," 15 June 2018 These four pocket parks pack a lot of personality into mere square feet. Marielle Wakim, Los Angeles Magazine, "A Guide to L.A.’s Tiniest Pocket Parks," 15 June 2018 Willie Taggart’s high-octane personality along with a talented coaching staff helped Oregon rebound in 2017, but Taggart’s sudden departure to Florida State after one season left many in the program taken aback. Matt Murschel,, "Oregon counts on Mario Cristobal to build on success, Ducks are No. 75 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 13 June 2018 Join your favorite FOX News Channel personalities for America's pastime on Saturday, July 28th or Sunday, July 29th at Yankee Stadium. Fox News, "FOX Fan Weekend 2018 Announced," 13 July 2018

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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Statistics for personality

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for personality

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

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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 \
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- \
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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