Definitions

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

  • n. A voice or character representing the speaker in a literary work.
  • n. The characters in a dramatic or literary work.
  • n. The role that one assumes or displays in public or society; one's public image or personality, as distinguished from the inner self.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A social role.
  • n. A character played by an actor.
  • n. The mask or appearance one presents to the world.
  • n. A type of skin used in Mozilla software.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as person, n., 8.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In biology, same as person, 8.

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

  • n. an actor's portrayal of someone in a play
  • n. (Jungian psychology) a personal facade that one presents to the world

Etymologies

Latin persōna; see person.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin persōna ("mask; character"), sometimes said to derive from personare ("to sound through") or from Etruscan 𐌘𐌄𐌓𐌔𐌖 (φersu). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The first to use the term persona in a Trinitarian & christological context asserting in Adv.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • They used, in Latin, the term persona, which means ˜role™ but which was also used by the grammarians to distinguish what we call ˜first person, second person and third person™ pronouns and verb-forms.

    Religion and Morality

  • In a letter to a disciple, Sri Aurobindo wrote that "the very first step in getting out of the ignorance is to accept the fact that this outer consciousness is not one's soul, not oneself, not the real person, but only a temporary formation on the surface .... the outer personality is the person only in the sense of the Latin word persona which meant originally a mask."

    One Cosmos

  • Most notably, they created what they called a persona book, with color pictures and background information on people.

    21st Century Organization

  • I think Isis has got something there - I've never felt discriminated against, but my 'persona' is very masculine.

    Gender Discrimination: A Follow-Up

  • Oh, how I loathed the old Donkey Kong ... but his new persona is quite cracking!

    Mortal Kombat vs. Donkey Kong

  • The persona is one of graciousness and grace under pressure.

    Beyonce is poised to take a well-deserved break in 2010

  • Given that your persona is rough and tough (I gleaned this from your frequent mentions of having been "in the can"), it's not so shocking that you're an action movie fan; but it is surprising that you frequently go to bat for women, picking up on gender issues that many reviewers might miss, especially ones trying to gain a female audience while still impressing adolescent fanboys.

    Caroline Hagood: On Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer!, Movies, and Manhood

  • When a persona is compromised by a portrayal that the public understands as emanating from the persona, then there is a right of publicity violation.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Or himself in one aspect, because his stand-up persona is another thing again.

    Brit Wit

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.