per·​son·​al·​i·​ty | \ ˌpər-sə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce personality (audio) , ˌpər-ˈsna- \
plural personalities

Essential Meaning of personality

1 : the set of emotional qualities, ways of behaving, etc., that makes a person different from other people He has a very pleasant/strong personality. We all have different personalities. See More ExamplesThere was a clash of personalities [=a disagreement between people with different personalities] in the office. The psychiatrist considered behavior as well as personality before prescribing a treatment.Hide
2 : attractive qualities (such as energy, friendliness, and humor) that make a person interesting or pleasant to be with He has lots of personality.
3 : attractive qualities that make something unusual or interesting He wants to buy a car that has personality. The city lacks personality.

Full 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 Mary Watkins-Field, 60, was known for having a big personality and a caring spirit. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, 5 Sep. 2021 Prior to signing a contract with AEW, Punk-to-WWE rumors had run rampant since he was signed on to be an on-air personality for FOX 1’s WWE Backstage. Dj Siddiqi, Forbes, 5 Sep. 2021 So forceful and formidable a personality, and a very engaging person. Susan Morrison, The New Yorker, 5 Sep. 2021 Scott thrived as a Washington personality, doing product pitches, popping up at ribbon-cutting ceremonies and appearing as a fill-in weatherman on WRC-TV in 1967, when the incumbent suddenly walked off the job., 4 Sep. 2021 Michaels spent more than a dozen years as a sports personality on WTMJ-AM (620). Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 Sep. 2021 Tua was and is an engaging personality with nothing but love for all his teammates. J.d. Crowe |, al, 2 Sep. 2021 Over the next hour, Harrison displayed a personality no one outside his inner circle had ever seen. Stephen Means, cleveland, 1 Sep. 2021 Gregg Leakes is a real estate investor and reality television personality. Sara Netzley,, 30 Aug. 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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Learn More About personality

Time Traveler for personality

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near personality

personalistic psychology


personality cult

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Statistics for personality

Last Updated

8 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Personality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for personality


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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on personality

Nglish: Translation of personality for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of personality for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about personality


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