What does person mean?

Definitions for person
ˈpɜr sənper·son

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word person.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. person, individual, someone, somebody, mortal, soulnoun

    a human being

    "there was too much for one person to do"

  2. personnoun

    a human body (usually including the clothing)

    "a weapon was hidden on his person"

  3. personnoun

    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

    "stop talking about yourself in the third person"


  1. personnoun

    A single human being; an individual.

  2. personnoun

    The physical human body seen as distinct from the mind, character etc.

  3. personnoun

    Any individual or formal organization with standing before the courts.

    By common law a corporation or a trust is legally a person.

  4. personnoun

    A linguistic category used to distinguish between the speaker of an utterance and those to whom or about whom he is speaking. See grammatical person.

  5. personnoun

    Someone who likes or has an affinity for (a specified thing).

    Jack's always been a dog person, but I prefer cats.

  6. Etymology: From parsone, persoun et al. (Old French persone, French personne), and its source persona, perhaps a loanword; compare Etruscan φersu. Displaced native wight (from wiht).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PERSONnoun

    Etymology: personne, Fr. persona, Lat.

    A person is a thinking intelligent being, that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing, in different times and places. John Locke.

    A zeal for persons is far more easy to be perverted, than a zeal for things. Thomas Sprat, Sermons.

    To that we owe the safety of our persons and the propriety of our possessions. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    ’Tis in her heart alone that you must reign;
    You’ll find her person difficult to gain. Dryden.

    If I am traduc’d by tongues which neither know
    My faculties nor person;
    ’Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake
    That virtue must go through. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    The rebels maintained the fight for a small time, and for their persons shewed no want of courage. Francis Bacon.

    Be a person ’s attainments ever so great, he should always remember, that he is God’s creature. Clarissa.

    When I purposed to make a war by my lieutenant, I made declaration thereof to you by my chancellor; but now that I mean to make a war upon France in person, I will declare it to you myself. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

    The king in person visits all around,
    Comforts the sick, congratulates the sound,
    And holds for thrice three days a royal feast. Dryden.

    For her own person,
    It beggar’d all description. William Shakespeare.

    All things are lawful unto me, saith the apostle, speaking, as it seemeth, in the person of the christian gentile for the maintenance of liberty in things indifferent. Richard Hooker.

    These tables Marcus Tullius Cicero pronounced under the person of Crassus, were of more use and authority than all the books of the philosophers. Thomas Baker, Reflections on Learning.

    From his first appearance upon the stage, in his new person of a sycophant or jugler, instead of his former person of a prince, he was exposed to the derision of the courtiers and the common people, who flocked about him, that one might know where the owl was, by the flight of birds. Francis Bacon.

    He hath put on the person not of a robber and a murtherer, but of a traitor to the state. John Hayward.

    I then did use the person of your father;
    The image of his power lay then in me:
    And in th’ administration of his law,
    While I was busy for the commonwealth,
    Your highness pleased to forget my place. William Shakespeare.

    How different is the same man from himself, as he sustains the person of a magistrate and that of a friend. South.

    Dorus the more blushed at her smiling, and she the more smiled at his blushing; because he had, with the remembrance of that plight he was in, forgot in speaking of himself the third person. Philip Sidney.

    If speaking of himself in the first person singular has so various meanings, his use of the first person plural is with greater latitude. John Locke.


  1. person

    A person is a unique individual, typically belonging to the human species, possessing self-awareness, consciousness, and the ability to think, learn, communicate, and act intentionally.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Personnoun

    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

  2. Personnoun

    the bodily form of a human being; body; outward appearance; as, of comely person

  3. Personnoun

    a living, self-conscious being, as distinct from an animal or a thing; a moral agent; a human being; a man, woman, or child

  4. Personnoun

    a human being spoken of indefinitely; one; a man; as, any person present

  5. Personnoun

    a parson; the parish priest

  6. Personnoun

    among Trinitarians, one of the three subdivisions of the Godhead (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost); an hypostasis

  7. Personnoun

    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

  8. Personnoun

    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

  9. Personverb

    to represent as a person; to personify; to impersonate

  10. Etymology: [OE. persone, persoun, person, parson, OF. persone, F. personne, L. persona a mask (used by actors), a personage, part, a person, fr. personare to sound through; per + sonare to sound. See Per-, and cf. Parson.]


  1. Person

    A person is a being, such as a human, that has certain capacities or attributes constituting personhood, which in turn is defined differently by different authors in different disciplines, and by different cultures in different times and places. In ancient Rome, the word "persona" or "prosopon" originally referred to the masks worn by actors on stage. The various masks represented the various "personae" in the stage play. The current concept of person was developed during the Trinitarian and Christological debates of the 4th and 5th centuries in contrast to the word natura. During the theological debates, some philosophical tools were needed so that the debates could be held on common basis to all theological schools. The purpose of the debate was to establish the relation, similarities and differences between the Λóγος/"Verbum" and God. The philosophical concept of person arose, taking the word "prosopon" from the Greek theatre. Therefore, Christus and God were defined as different "persons". This concept was applied later to the Holy Ghost, the angels and to all human beings. Since then, a number of important changes to the word's meaning and use have taken place, and attempts have been made to redefine the word with varying degrees of adoption and influence. In addition to the question of personhood, of what makes a being count as a person to begin with, there are further questions about personal identity: both about what makes any particular person that particular person instead of another, and about what makes a person at one time the same person as he or she was or will be at another time despite any intervening changes. The common plural of "person", "people", is often used to refer to an entire nation or ethnic group, so the plural "persons" is often used in contexts which require precision such as philosophical and legal writing.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Person

    pėr′sun, n. character represented, as on the stage: character: an individual, sometimes used slightingly: a living soul: a human being: the outward appearance, &c.: bodily form: one of the three hypostases or individualities in the triune God: (gram.) a distinction in form, according as the subject of the verb is the person speaking, spoken to, or spoken of.—adj. Per′sonable, having a well-formed body or person: of good appearance.—n. Per′sonāge, a person: character represented: an individual of eminence: external appearance.—adj. Per′sonal, belonging to a person: having the nature or quality of a person: peculiar to a person or to his private concerns: pertaining to the external appearance: done in person: relating to one's own self: applied offensively to one's character: (gram.) denoting the person.—n. Personalisā′tion, personification.—v.t. Per′sonalise, to make personal.—ns. Per′sonalism, the character of being personal; Per′sonalist, one who writes personal notes; Personal′ity, that which distinguishes a person from a thing, or one person from another: individuality: a derogatory remark or reflection directly applied to a person—esp. in pl. Personal′ities.—adv. Per′sonally, in a personal or direct manner: in person: individually.—n. Per′sonalty (law), all the property which, when a man dies, goes to his executor or administrator, as distinguished from the realty, which goes to his heir-at-law.—v.t. Per′sonāte, to assume the likeness or character of: to represent: to counterfeit: to feign.—adj. (bot.) mask-like, as in the corollary of the snapdragon: larval, cucullate.—adj. Per′sonāted, impersonated, feigned, assumed.—ns. Personā′tion; Per′sonātor.—n. Personisā′tion.—v.t. Per′sonise, to personify.—n. Personnel′, the persons employed in any service, as distinguished from the materiel.—Personal estate, property, movable goods or property, as distinguished from freehold or real property, esp. in land; Personal exception (Scots law), a ground of objection which applies to an individual and prevents him from doing something which, but for his conduct or situation, he might do; Personal identity, the continued sameness of the individual person, through all changes both without and within, as testified by consciousness; Personal rights, rights which belong to the person as a living, reasonable being; Personal security, security or pledge given by a person, as distinguished from the delivery of some object of value as security; Personal service, delivery of a message or an order into a person's hands, as distinguished from delivery in any other indirect way; Personal transaction, something done by a person's own effort, not through the agency of another.—In person, by one's self, not by a representative. [Fr.,—L. persōna, a player's mask, perh. from persŏnāre, -ātumper, through, sonāre, to sound.]

Editors Contribution

  1. person

    A human being.

    The person did say we are all accountable for the actions of humanity and it was the truth.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 15, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. person

    Quotes by person -- Explore a large variety of famous quotes made by person on the Quotes.net website.

  2. person

    Song lyrics by person -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by person on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Person is ranked #496 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Person surname appeared 67,411 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 23 would have the surname Person.

    45.5% or 30,726 total occurrences were White.
    34.5% or 23,264 total occurrences were Black.
    12.8% or 8,683 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    4.1% or 2,791 total occurrences were Asian.
    1.7% or 1,200 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.1% or 755 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'person' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #369

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'person' in Written Corpus Frequency: #383

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'person' in Nouns Frequency: #87

Anagrams for person »

  1. nopers

  2. preons

  3. spreon

How to pronounce person?

How to say person in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of person in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of person in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of person in a Sentence

  1. Neil Strauss:

    Perhaps the biggest mistake I made in the past was that I believed love was about finding the right person. In reality, love is about becoming the right person. Don’t look for the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Become the person you want to spend your life with.

  2. Marco Rubio:

    When they caught this person, they asked him, 'Why did you do this?' This person did not resist -- this person said, 'I did it because I pledged allegiance to ISIS. I am inspired by ISIS,' to his credit, the police chief of Philadelphia said this person did it because of ISIS.

  3. Ulish Carter:

    Black people will get extremely fired up and fight for a Trayvon Martin (the black teen fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida) or any time a white person kills a black person, or police kill a black person. You got rallies and marches and protests, you get your national leaders involved, but all these situations with blacks killing blacks, you're just as dead.

  4. Richard Needham:

    You don't marry one person you marry three . the person you think they are, the person they are, and the person they are going to become as the result of being married to you.

  5. Jarred Evans:

    Jared Evans, a football player among the 195 evacuees, said in an interview Thursday night. After dinner, Jared Evans said, most people head straight to their rooms. Jarred Evans, a professional football player in China, is one of the Americans evacuated from a Chinese city at the center of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. ( AP Photo/Patricio Espinoza) They were flown out of Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the outbreak, on Wednesday and while on the base have been given blood tests and nose, throat and mouth swabs. Most of the virus cases are in China, but the outbreak has spread to more than a dozen countries, and the World Health Organization declared a global emergency Thursday. The U.S. has advised against all travel to Chinaand on Thursday confirmed the countrys first case of person-to-person spread of the virus, a man who is married to a Chicago woman in her 60s who got sick after she returned from a trip to Wuhan. AMERICAN AIRLINES LATEST TO CANCEL ALL FLIGHTS TO CHINA AMID CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK One person tried to leave the base Wednesday night and Riverside County officials ordered the person quarantined for two weeks unless medically cleared before then, said Jose Arballo Jr., a spokesman for the countys public health agency. That means the unidentified person must remain with the group on the base, he said. Jose Arballo Jr. said early Friday that none of the passengers had shown signs of the illness but that Jose Arballo Jr. was about to go into a briefing for an update on the evacuees health. The evacuees are staying in hotel-style housing on the base and spent time Thursday exercising in a grassy area, some wearing masks, Jose Arballo Jr. said. A mobile medical clinic was set up in that area of the base so the evacuees will not have to go elsewhere for medical care if they need it, Jose Arballo Jr. said. Jarred Evans, who moved to Wuhan several years ago to play in a Chinese football league, said Jarred Evans would stay at the base until testing shows Jarred Evans is free of the virus. SIGN UP FOR THE FOX HEALTH NEWSLETTER Before the outbreak took hold, Jarred Evans said people in the city of 11 million people were happy as they prepared for the Lunar New Year holiday season. After news broke about rapidly expanding outbreak, Jarred Evans said residents swarmed pharmacies and stores to buy masks and disinfectant spray. The Chinese government shut down the city banning buses, trains, taxis, and personal cars and the military patrolled some streets and Jarred Evans compared its deserted atmosphere to an Old West ghost town. Imagine New York City being shut down, i was completely scared at first, because I didnt know exactly what was going to happen.

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    a game in which players throw or flip a jackknife in various ways so that the knife sticks in the ground
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