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

  • adj. Lacking personality; not being a person: an impersonal force.
  • adj. Showing no emotion or personality: an aloof, impersonal manner.
  • adj. Having no personal reference or connection: an impersonal remark.
  • adj. Not responsive to or expressive of human personalities: a large, impersonal corporation.
  • adj. Grammar Of, relating to, or being a verb that expresses the action of an unspecified subject, as in methinks, "it seems to me”; Latin pluit, "it rains”; or, with an expletive subject, it snowed.
  • adj. Grammar Indefinite. Used of pronouns.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not personal; not representing a person; not having personality.
  • adj. Lacking warmth or emotion; cold.
  • adj. Not having a subject, or having a third person pronoun without an antecedent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not personal; not representing a person; not having personality.
  • n. That which wants personality

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not personal, Not existing or manifested as a person; having no conscious individuality; not endued with personality.
  • Not relating to a person, or to any particular person or persons; having no personal reference; not bearing the stamp of any particular personality: as, an impersonal remark.
  • In grammar, said of a verb not used with a personal subject, or employed to express action without specification of an actor, and hence used only in the third person, and either without a subject expressed, or with only the indefinite it (French il, German es, etc.): thus, Latin me tædet, French il m'ennuie, German es urgert mich, it irks me; or German mich dunkt, methinks —that is. (to) me (it) seems (methinks is nearly the sole relic left in English of the pure impersonal construction without subject); or it rains that is. rain is going on; or Latin pugnatur, it is fought —that is, fighting is going on. In many quasi-impersonal phrases the it is a grammatical subject, anticipating a logical subject that comes later: thus, it hurts one to fall —that is, falling hurts one; and so on.
  • n. That which wants personality; an impersonal verb.

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

  • adj. having no personal preference
  • adj. not relating to or responsive to individual persons


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French impersonnel, from Latin impersonalis, from Latin im- ("not") + personalis ("personal").


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