personality

noun

per·​son·​al·​i·​ty ˌpər-sə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce personality (audio)
ˌpər-ˈsna-
plural personalities
1
a
: the quality or state of being a person
b
: personal existence
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
4
a
: 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
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.
Recent Examples on the Web So many of us will miss Jimmy and his tremendous personality. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 12 Apr. 2024 But that’s part of the secret of the show’s success, Tarlov said — the politics, sure, but also the personalities. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 12 Apr. 2024 But that’s part of the secret of the show’s success, Tarlov says — the politics, sure, but also the personalities. Bill Goodykoontz, USA TODAY, 12 Apr. 2024 Force of personality can be praised to the hilt, as can dramatic dexterity. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 11 Apr. 2024 While the creators of Dora want to preserve her personality as open and fun, her identity has become more defined. Arturo Conde, NBC News, 11 Apr. 2024 Fast forward, the singer and TV personality are enjoying parenthood, including throwing birthday parties to celebrate their kids. Emily Krauser, Peoplemag, 11 Apr. 2024 Instead, other personality traits that lead people to vote either frequently or infrequently are probably also pushing them toward different candidates. Dan Hopkins, ABC News, 10 Apr. 2024 The two metals give each variation its own unique personality—one truer to the dive watch’s roots and the other, more elevated even when complemented with a rubber strap. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 31 Mar. 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near personality

Cite this Entry

“Personality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/personality. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

personality

noun
per·​son·​al·​i·​ty ˌpərs-ᵊn-ˈal-ət-ē How to pronounce personality (audio)
ˌpər-ˈsnal-
plural personalities
1
: the state of being a person
2
: the whole collection of individual emotions and behavior that make one person different from others : individuality
3
: an insulting mention of a person
use personalities in an argument
4
: pleasing qualities of character
has lots of personality
5
: a person who is well-known
a television personality

Medical Definition

personality

noun
per·​son·​al·​i·​ty ˌpərs-ᵊn-ˈal-ət-ē, ˌpər-ˈsnal- How to pronounce personality (audio)
plural personalities
1
: the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual especially in relationships with others
2
a
: the totality of an individual's behavioral and emotional tendencies
b
: the organization of the individual's distinguishing character traits, attitudes, or habits

Legal Definition

personality

noun
per·​son·​al·​i·​ty
plural personalities
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

More from Merriam-Webster on personality

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