Definition of impersonal adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɪmˈpɜːsənl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈpɜːrsənl//
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  1. 1(usually disapproving) lacking friendly human feelings or atmosphere; making you feel unimportant a vast impersonal organization an impersonal hotel room Business letters need not be formal and impersonal. a cold impersonal stare His touch was as impersonal as that of a doctor.
  2. 2not referring to any particular person Let's keep the criticism general and impersonal.
  3. 3(grammar) an impersonal verb or sentence has ‘it’ or ‘there’ as the subject Language BankimpersonalGiving opinions using impersonal language It is vital that more is done to prevent the illegal trade in wild animals. (Compare: We have to do more to stop people trading wild animals illegally.) It is clear that more needs to be done to protect biodiversity. (Compare: We clearly need to do more to protect biodiversity.) It is unfortunate that the practice of keeping monkeys as pets still continues. (Compare: It’s absolutely terrible that people still keep monkeys as pets.) It is difficult for many people to understand the reasons why certain individuals choose to hunt animals for sport. (Compare: I can’t understand why anyone would want to kill animals for fun.) Unfortunately, it would seem that not enough is being done to support tiger conservation. (Compare: Governments aren’t doing enough to help tiger conservation.) There is no doubt that the greatest threat to polar bears comes from global warming. (Compare: I believe that the greatest threat…) language bank at opinion, perhaps, vital
  4. Word Originlate Middle English (in sense (3)): from late Latin impersonalis, from Latin in- ‘not’ + personalis ‘of a person’ (from persona ‘actor's mask, character in a play’, later ‘human being’).Extra examples I find the atmosphere there rather impersonal. I think we should keep things entirely impersonal. The law is abstract and coldly impersonal. Business letters do not always need to be impersonal and formal. It’s a vast impersonal organization. The hotel room looked bare and impersonal. You should write your report in an impersonal manner.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: impersonal

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