per·​son | \ ˈpər-sᵊn How to pronounce person (audio) \

Definition of person

1 : human, individual sometimes used in combination especially by those who prefer to avoid man in compounds applicable to both sexes chairpersonspokesperson
2 : a character or part in or as if in a play : guise
3a : one of the three modes of being in the Trinitarian Godhead as understood by Christians
b : the unitary personality of Christ that unites the divine and human natures
4a archaic : bodily appearance
b : the body of a human being also : the body and clothing unlawful search of the person
5 : the personality of a human being : self
6 : one (such as a human being, a partnership, or a corporation) that is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties
7 : reference of a segment of discourse to the speaker, to one spoken to, or to one spoken of as indicated by means of certain pronouns or in many languages by verb inflection
in person
: in one's bodily presence the movie star appeared in person

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Other Words from person

personhood \ ˈpər-​sᵊn-​ˌhu̇d How to pronounce personhood (audio) \ noun

Examples of person in a Sentence

She is a very nice person. I saw a person standing on the dock. Any person who wants a refund must have a receipt. Most people here are quite friendly. The tickets are $25 per person. The person at the front desk will be able to help you. The tax break is only applicable to persons in a high income bracket. I like her as a person, but she is not a very good writer. The disease is easily transmitted from person to person. The dogs discovered that the men were hiding drugs about their persons.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Most major insurers send disaster teams to the affected area to start the process in person, but claims can also begin on the phone or online. CBS News, "What homeowners should know about dealing with hurricane damage," 3 Sep. 2019 Seated in the third row are Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who is seeing Carr preach for the first time in person, and his wife, Cindy. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Derek Carr nearly quit football for preacher’s life before rookie season with Raiders," 3 Sep. 2019 But Steplight had already left in another person’s car, witnesses said. Tess Sheets,, "Man accused of killing 83-year-old woman ruled incompetent to stand trial, records show," 2 Sep. 2019 In fact, if anything, the difference is more noticeable in person. Megan Gustashaw, Glamour, "I Tried an IPL Treatment to Get Rid of My Sun Spots," 31 Aug. 2019 And for many, the love was sealed by attending a game in person: the magic of the field, the crowd, the hot dogs, the entire atmosphere. Ann Killion,, "If baseball is dying, why not let kids in free? Teams should follow A’s lead," 30 Aug. 2019 Tickets can be obtained online at, in person at the Kleist Center box office from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by phone at 440-826-2240. Rich Heileman,, "Berea to host 29th annual Arts Fest: Around The Town," 30 Aug. 2019 Party forces allied with Hillary Clinton have argued for years that states should shift from caucuses to primaries — or at least make the caucus process more accessible to people who cannot attend in person. Reid J. Epstein, New York Times, "Caucuses in Iowa Won’t Include Absentee Participation, D.N.C. Says," 30 Aug. 2019 Purchase tickets online with a credit card at or in person with cash or check at various locations through Sept. 7. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, "This massive turn of the century Queen Anne-style home in New Albany is a knockout," 29 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'person.' 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 person

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for person

Middle English, from Anglo-French persone, from Latin persona actor's mask, character in a play, person, probably from Etruscan phersu mask, from Greek prosōpa, plural of prosōpon face, mask — more at prosopopoeia

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Statistics for person

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for person

The first known use of person was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for person



English Language Learners Definition of person

: a human being
: a person who likes or enjoys something specified
law : the body or clothing of a person especially when considered as a place to hide things


per·​son | \ ˈpər-sᵊn How to pronounce person (audio) \

Kids Definition of person

1 : a human being considered as an individual I had never heard a person speak Arabic.
Hint: The word person is sometimes used in compounds especially to avoid man in words that apply to both sexes. chairperson
2 : the body of a human being Keep your person neat.



Legal Definition of person

2 : the body of a human being also : the body and clothing of a human being had drugs on his person
3 : one (as a human being or corporation) that is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties — see also juridical person, legal person, personality

Other Words from person

personhood noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on person

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with person

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for person

Spanish Central: Translation of person

Nglish: Translation of person for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of person for Arabic Speakers

Comments on person

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


readily or continually undergoing change

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