Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Person

Per′son

(pẽr′s’n; 277)
,
Noun.
[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.
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.
[Archaic]
His first appearance upon the stage in his new
person
of a sycophant or juggler.
Bacon.
No man can long put on a
person
and act a part.
Jer. Taylor.
To bear rule, which was thy part
And
person
, hadst thou known thyself aright.
Milton.
How different is the same man from himself, as he sustains the
person
of a magistrate and that of a friend!
South.
2.
The bodily form of a human being; body; outward appearance;
as, of comely
person
.
A fair
persone
, and strong, and young of age.
Chaucer.
If it assume my noble father’s
person
.
Shakespeare
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her
person
shined.
Milton.
3.
A living, self-conscious being, as distinct from an animal or a thing; a moral agent; a human being; a man, woman, or child.
Consider what
person
stands for; which, I think, is a thinking, intelligent being, that has reason and reflection.
Locke.
4.
A human being spoken of indefinitely; one; a man;
as, any
person
present
.
5.
A parson; the parish priest.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.
6.
(Theol.)
Among Trinitarians, one of the three subdivisions of the Godhead (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost); an hypostasis.
“Three persons and one God.”
Bk. of Com. Prayer.
7.
(Gram.)
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.
☞ A noun or pronoun, when representing the speaker, is said to be in the first person; when representing what is spoken to, in the second person; when representing what is spoken of, in the third person.
8.
(Biol.)
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.
Haeckel.
True corms, composed of united personæ . . . usually arise by gemmation, . . . yet in sponges and corals occasionally by fusion of several originally distinct
persons
.
Encyc. Brit.
Artificial person
, or
Fictitious person
(Law)
,
a corporation or body politic; – this term is used in contrast with
natural person
, a real human being. See also
legal person
.
Blackstone.
Legal person
(Law)
,
an individual or group that is allowed by law to take legal action, as plaintiff or defendent. It may include natural persons as well as fictitious persons (such as corporations).
Natural person
(Law)
,
a man, woman, or child, in distinction from a corporation.
In person
,
by one's self; with bodily presence, rather than by remote communication; not by representative.
“The king himself in person is set forth.”
Shak.
In the person of
,
in the place of; acting for.
Shak.

Per′son

,
Verb.
T.
To represent as a person; to personify; to impersonate.
[Obs.]
Milton.

Webster 1828 Edition


Person

PERSON

,
Noun.
per'sn. [L. persona; said to be compounded of per, through or by, and sonus, sound; a Latin word signifying primarily a mask used by actors on the state.]
1.
An individual human being consisting of body and soul. We apply the word to living beings only, possessed of a rational nature; the body when dead is not called a person. It is applied alike to a man, woman or child.
A person is a thinking intelligent being.
2.
A man, woman or child, considered as opposed to things, or distinct from them.
A zeal for persons is far more easy to be perverted, than a zeal for things.
3.
A human being, considered with respect to the living body or corporeal existence only. The form of her person is elegant.
You'll find her person difficult to gain.
The rebels maintained the fight for a small time, and for their persons showed no want of courage.
4.
A human being, indefinitely; one; a man. Let a person's attainments be never so great, he should remember he is frail and imperfect.
5.
A human being represented in dialogue, fiction, or on the state; character. A player appears in the person of king Lear.
These tables, Cicero pronounced under the person of Crassus, were of more use and authority than all the books of the philosophers.
6.
Character of office.
How different is the same man from himself, as he sustains the person of a magistrate and that of a friend.
7.
In grammar, the nominative to a verb; the agent that performs or the patient that suffers any thing affirmed by a verb; as, I write; he is smitten; she is beloved; the rain descends in torrents. I, thou or you, he, she or it, are called the first, second and third persons. Hence we apply the word person to the termination or modified form of the verb used in connection with the persons; as the first or the third person of the verb; the verb is in the second person.
8.
In law, an artificial person, is a corporation or body politic.
In person, by one's self; with bodily presence; not be representative.
The king in person visits all around.

Definition 2021


Person

Person

See also: person and -person

German

Noun

Person f (genitive Person, plural Personen)

  1. person

Declension

Derived terms

  • Frauenperson
  • Mannsperson
  • Weibsperson

Derived terms


Swedish

Proper noun

Person

  1. A surname. A rare spelling variant of Persson.

person

person

See also: Person and -person

English

Noun

person (plural persons or (by suppletion) people)

  1. An individual; usually a human being. [from 13th c.]
    • 1784, William Jones, The Description and Use of a New Portable Orrery, &c., PREFACE
      THE favourable reception the Orrery has met with from Perſons of the firſt diſtinction, and from Gentlemen and Ladies in general, has induced me to add to it ſeveral new improvements in order to give it a degree of Perfection; and diſtinguiſh it from others; which by Piracy, or Imitation, may be introduced to the Public.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      “A very welcome, kind, useful present, that means to the parish. By the way, Hopkins, let this go no further. We don't want the tale running round that a rich person has arrived. Churchill, my dear fellow, we have such greedy sharks, and wolves in lamb's clothing. […]”
    Each person is unique, both mentally and physically.
    1. 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.
      • Francis Bacon
        his first appearance upon the stage in his new person of a sycophant or juggler
      • Jeremy Taylor
        No man can long put on a person and act a part.
      • Milton
        To bear rule, which was thy part / And person, hadst thou known thyself aright.
      • South
        How different is the same man from himself, as he sustains the person of a magistrate and that of a friend!
    2. (Christianity) Any one of the three hypostases of the Holy Trinity: the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit.
      • Book of Common Prayer
        three persons and one God
    3. (chiefly in science fiction) Any sentient or socially intelligent being.
    4. (in a compound noun or noun phrase) Someone who likes or has an affinity for (a specified thing). [from 20th c.]
      Jack's always been a dog person, but I prefer cats.
  2. The physical body of a being seen as distinct from the mind, character, etc. [from 14th c.]
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, III.1.2.iii:
      when the young ladies laughed at her for it, she replied, that it was not his person that she did embrace and reverence, but, with a Platonic love, the divine beauty of his soul.
    • 1897, Henry James, What Maisie Knew:
      The Captain, inclining his military person, sat sideways to be closer and kinder […].
    • 1978, Lawrence Durrell, Livia, Faber & Faber 1992 (Avignon Quintet), page 418:
      At first blush it seemed that what was striking about him rested on the fact that his dress was exotic, his person foreign.
    • 2004, The New York Times:
      Meanwhile, the dazed Sullivan, dressed like a bum with no identification on his person, is arrested and put to work on a brutal Southern chain gang.
  3. (law) Any individual or formal organization with standing before the courts. [from 14th c.]
    At common law a corporation or a trust is legally a person.
  4. (law) The human genitalia; specifically, the ****.
    • 1824, Vagrancy Act 1824 (5 Geo. 4. c. 83, United Kingdom), section 4:
      [E]very Person wilfully, openly, lewdly, and obscenely exposing his Person in any Street, Road, or public Highway, or in the View thereof, or in any Place of public Resort, with Intent to insult any Female ... and being subsequently convicted of the Offence for which he or she shall have been so apprehended, shall be deemed a Rogue and Vagabond, within the true Intent and Meaning of this Act ...
    • 1972, Evans v. Ewels, Weekly Law Reports, vol. 1, page 671 at pp. 674–675:
      It seems to me that at any rate today, and indeed by 1824, the word "person" in connection with sexual matters had acquired a meaning of its own; a meaning which made it a synonym for "****." It may be ... that it was the forerunner of Victorian gentility which prevented people calling a **** a ****. But however that may be I am satisfied in my own mind that it has now acquired an established meaning to the effect already stated. It is I venture to say, well known amongst those who practise in the courts that the word "person" is so used over and over again. It is the familiar synonym of that part of the body, and, as one of the reasons for my decision in this case, I would use that interpretation of what was prevailing in 1824 and what has become established in the 150 years since then.
  5. (grammar) 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. [from 14th c.]
  6. (biology) 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.
    • Encyc. Brit.
      True corms, composed of united personae [] usually arise by gemmation, [] yet in sponges and corals occasionally by fusion of several originally distinct persons.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Haeckel to this entry?)

Usage notes

In senses 1, 1.3, and 1.4, the plural is either persons or people, with persons sounding more formal and people more colloquial. In senses 1.2, 2, 3, and 5 persons is the only plural.

Synonyms

  • See also Wikisaurus:person

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

person (third-person singular simple present persons, present participle personing, simple past and past participle personed)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To represent as a person; to personify; to impersonate.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
  2. (transitive, gender-neutral) To man.
    • 2007, Brian R. Brenner, Don't Throw This Away!: The Civil Engineering Life (page 40)
      We had hit the iceberg, and it was time to person the lifeboats.
    • 2008, William Guy, Something Sensational (page 337)
      We went so far as to stop in a hotel on the way out of Speyer — to ask for directions — but the teenaged girl personing the desk there seemed to be such an idiot []

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: wife · hear · least · #311: person · case · fact · known

Anagrams


Breton

Noun

person m

  1. vicar

Inflection


Danish

Noun

person c (singular definite personen, plural indefinite personer)

  1. person
  2. character
  3. figure
  4. people

Inflection


Esperanto

Noun

person

  1. accusative singular of perso

Finnish

Adjective

person

  1. Genitive singular form of perso.

Norwegian Bokmål

Etymology

From Latin persona

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /pæʂ.ʂuːn/, [pæʂ.ˈʂuʷːn]

Noun

person m (definite singular personen, indefinite plural personer, definite plural personene)

  1. a person

Derived terms

References


Norwegian Nynorsk

Etymology

From Latin persona

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /pæʂ.ʂuːn/, [pæʂ.ˈʂuʷːn]

Noun

person m (definite singular personen, indefinite plural personar, definite plural personane)

  1. a person

Derived terms

References


Scots

Noun

person (plural people)

  1. An individual with rights and responsibilities under the law.
  2. An individual or formal organisation with standing before the courts.
  3. In fiction, any sentient or socially intelligent being.

Swedish

Pronunciation

Noun

person c

  1. a human being
  2. an individual

Declension

Inflection of person 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative person personen personer personerna
Genitive persons personens personers personernas

Related terms

References


Welsh

Pronunciation

Noun

person m (plural personau)

  1. person

Synonyms

  • unigolyn

Derived terms

Noun

person m (plural personiaid)

  1. parson, clergyman

Synonyms

Mutation

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
person berson mherson pherson
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.