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 What are the personality traits of the Rabbit sign? Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 20 Jan. 2023 Different personality traits and annual fortunes are ascribed to people born in each Zodiac year. Time, 20 Jan. 2023 While there are some similarities between the Chinese zodiac and Western astrology — both contain 12 signs that are assigned based on time of birth and associated with specific personality traits — how the signs were derived differs greatly. Frances Lee, Woman's Day, 19 Jan. 2023 Aries is the god of war What to know about this Zodiac sign's personality traits. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 13 Jan. 2023 So Syncd is essentially designed to match based on your Myers-Briggs personality type. Laura Forman, WSJ, 11 Jan. 2023 Researchers have also identified numerous personality traits that are associated with creativity, such as openness to new experiences, ideas and perspectives. Lily Zhu, The Conversation, 9 Jan. 2023 Meet Dog-E, the excitable robodog. Unveiled by toy maker WowWee, Dog-E has more than a million possible combinations of lights, sounds, and personality traits. Adriana Morga, James Brooks, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Jan. 2023 Bale also crafted a deep backstory for his character, alongside personality traits that came to both define and confront the man Landor is. Tomris Laffly, Los Angeles Times, 6 Jan. 2023 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 2 Feb. 2023.

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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