Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A living human. Often used in combination: chairperson; spokesperson; salesperson.
  • n. An individual of specified character: a person of importance.
  • n. The composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality; the self.
  • n. The living body of a human: searched the prisoner's person.
  • n. Physique and general appearance.
  • n. Law A human or organization with legal rights and duties.
  • n. Christianity Any of the three separate individualities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as distinguished from the essence of the Godhead that unites them.
  • n. Grammar Any of three groups of pronoun forms with corresponding verb inflections that distinguish the speaker (first person), the individual addressed (second person), and the individual or thing spoken of (third person).
  • n. Grammar Any of the different forms or inflections expressing these distinctions.
  • n. A character or role, as in a play; a guise: "Well, in her person, I say I will not have you” ( Shakespeare).
  • idiom in person In one's physical presence; personally: applied for the job in person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To represent as a person; to personify; to impersonate.
  • v. To man.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A character or part, as in a play; a specific kind or manifestation of individual character, whether in real life, or in literary or dramatic representation; an assumed character.
  • n. The bodily form of a human being; body; outward appearance.
  • n. A living, self-conscious being, as distinct from an animal or a thing; a moral agent; a human being; a man, woman, or child.
  • n. A human being spoken of indefinitely; one; a man.
  • n. A parson; the parish priest.
  • n. Among Trinitarians, one of the three subdivisions of the Godhead (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost); an hypostasis.
  • n. One of three relations or conditions (that of speaking, that of being spoken to, and that of being spoken of) pertaining to a noun or a pronoun, and thence also to the verb of which it may be the subject.
  • n. A shoot or bud of a plant; a polyp or zooid of the compound Hydrozoa Anthozoa, etc.; also, an individual, in the narrowest sense, among the higher animals.
  • transitive v. To represent as a person; to personify; to impersonate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To represent as a person; personify.
  • n. 1. A mask anciently worn by actors, covering the whole head, and varying according to the character to be represented; hence, a mask or disguise.
  • n. The character represented by such a mask or by the player who wore it; hence, character; rôle; the part which one assumes or sustains on the stage or in life.
  • n. A human being; a man, woman, or child; an individual; in a broader sense, a self-conscious being. See def. 9, and personality, 1.
  • n. . An individual of importance, distinction, or dignity; a personage.
  • n. In an affected sense, an individual of no importance or not entitled to social recognition: commonly applied to female servants or employees: as, a capable young person as milliner's assistant; a respectable person as cook.
  • n. The rector of a parish; a parson.
  • n. The human form in its characteristic completeness; the body of the living man or woman with all that belongs to it; bodily form; external appearance: as, offenses against the person; the king's person was held sacred; the adornment of the person.
  • n. In biology and morphology, an individual in a narrow sense, as the shoot or bud of a plant, a polypite or medusa, a zoöid, etc. , ,
  • n. In law: A living human being.
  • n. A human being having rights and duties before the law; one not a slave. In old Roman law slaves were not considered to be persons.
  • n. A being, whether natural or artificial, whether an individual or a body corporate other than the state, having rights and duties before the law.
  • n. [cap. or lowercase] In theology, a term used in definitions of the Trinity for what is individual in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, distinguishing one from the other: opposed to essence, which denotes what is common to them.
  • n. In grammar, one of three relations in which a subject stands related to a verb, and which are in many languages distinguished by differences in the form of the verb itself: namely, the first person, that of the speaker; the second, that of the one spoken to; and the third, that of the person or thing spoken of.
  • n. In the flesh; actually; with bodily presence, and not by deputy or representative: as, he came in person; he paid the money in person.
  • n. See color.
  • n. The Holy Ghost.
  • n. An expression common in legal phraseology to indicate any one not a party to a contract, relation, or legal proceeding under consideration: as, the liability of members of a corporation to third persons. =Syn. 2-4. Person, Individual, Personage. Person is the most general and common word for a human being, of either sex and of any age or social grade, without emphasizing the fact that there is but one, or, if there are more than one, viewing them severally: as, I met a person who said, etc. Individual views a person as standing alone, or persons as standing seperately before the mind: as, the rights of the individual; the rights of the individual; it is incorrect to use individual for person unemphatically: as, there were several individuals in the room. A personage is an important, distinguished, or illustrious person: hence, the state has been called “a great moral personage.”

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a human being
  • n. a grammatical category used in the classification of pronouns, possessive determiners, and verb forms according to whether they indicate the speaker, the addressee, or a third party
  • n. a human body (usually including the clothing)

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French persone, from Latin persōna, mask, role, person, probably from Etruscan phersu, mask.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman parsone, persoun et al. (Old French persone ("human being"), French personne), and its source Latin persōna ("mask used by actor; role, part, character"),perhaps a loanword; compare Etruscan φersu ("mask"). Displaced native wight (from Old English wiht ("person, human being")). (Wiktionary)

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