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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Color-Block Wall Ideas Color-block wall ideas deliver tons of personality but typically require only a few hours and basic painting skills. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Nov. 2022 Gravel racing seems almost designed to create cults of personality, and to feed tendencies that Rockwell views as narcissistic. Ian Parker, The New Yorker, 7 Nov. 2022 Or that Tarantino’s cult-of-personality side is grabbing the wheel from his more thoughtful side. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 6 Nov. 2022 Count Sosa among the formidable ranks of San Antonio Republicans with deep roots in the party, but an unwillingness to stomach the unquestioning cult of personality that has formed around Trump. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, 2 Nov. 2022 The varied spacing allows for playful jewelry, as with the silver hoop and stud combo above, and adds a bit of personality to otherwise uniform lobe piercings. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, 29 Oct. 2022 The Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping introduced the limit in 1982 to prevent a return to a Mao-style cult of personality. Jennifer Jett, NBC News, 23 Oct. 2022 The museum seems designed to reinforce the cult of personality around Mr. Xi and suggest that his agenda has the backing of history. Isabelle Qian, New York Times, 23 Oct. 2022 What to watch today: Observers will be closely watching to see whether Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who has already consolidated his power and built a cult of personality since taking office in 2012, will be granted any elevated honorifics. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 21 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

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 28 Nov. 2022.

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

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