noun per·son·nel \ˌpər-sə-ˈnel\

Definition of personnel

  1. 1a :  a body of persons usually employed (as in a factory or organization)b personnel plural :  persons

  2. 2 :  a division of an organization concerned with personnel

Examples of personnel in a sentence

  1. Women are also underrepresented as police force members, composing less than 13 percent of sworn personnel, despite the proven benefits of having more women in blue, such as less use of excessive force and improved response to domestic violence. —Cortney Rock, Ms., Winter 2007

  2. When the staff returned to the Oval Office, Bush's mood was upbeat, according to a White House aide who was present (and who, like all White House personnel quoted in this story, follows a policy of not being quoted by name). —Richard Wolffe et al., Newsweek, 19 June 2006

  3. The doorway that sheltered them from the rain leads to government offices now, but in Franco's time the building was a political prison. Its personnel and their diligent labours earned the place a charming nom de guerre—the House of Screams. —A. L. Kennedy, On Bullfighting, 1999

  4. The only firm rule is: Armored personnel carriers have the right of way. —P. J. O'Rourke, Holidays in Hell, 1988

  5. Over 10,000 military personnel were stationed in the country.

  6. They've reduced the number of personnel working on the project.

  7. Talk to personnel if you have any questions about your health insurance.

  8. She's the director of personnel.

Origin and Etymology of personnel

French, from German Personale, Personal, from Medieval Latin personale, from Late Latin, neuter of personalis personal

First Known Use: 1837

PERSONNEL Defined for English Language Learners


noun per·son·nel \ˌpər-sə-ˈnel\

Definition of personnel for English Language Learners

  • : the people who work for a particular company or organization

  • : a department within a company or organization that deals with the people who work for it

PERSONNEL Defined for Kids


noun per·son·nel \ˌpər-sə-ˈnel\

Definition of personnel for Students

  1. :  a group of people employed in a business or an organization

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up personnel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trip made at another's expense

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.