Definition of person noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpɜːsn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɜːrsn//
    (pl. people
    BrE BrE//ˈpiːpl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpiːpl//
    The plural form persons is used in some formal language. Grammar
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  1. 1  a human as an individual What sort of person would do a thing like that? He's a fascinating person. What is she like as a person? He's just the person we need for the job. I had a letter from the people who used to live next door. I'm not really a city person (= I don't really like cities). see also people person Use everyone or everybody instead of ‘all people’.
  2. 2  (formal or disapproving) a human, especially one who is not identified A certain person (= somebody that I do not wish to name) told me about it. The price is $40 per person. This vehicle is licensed to carry 4 persons. (= in a notice) (law) The verdict was murder by a person or persons unknown. see also VIP
  3. 3  -person (in compounds) a person working in the area of business mentioned; a person concerned with the thing mentioned a salesperson a spokesperson
  4. 4 (grammar) any of the three classes of personal pronouns. The first person (I/we) refers to the person(s) speaking; the second person (you) refers to the person(s) spoken to; the third person (he/she/it/they) refers to the person(s) or thing(s) spoken about. See related entries: Grammar
  5. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French persone, from Latin persona ‘actor's mask, character in a play’, later ‘human being’.Extra examples Can I speak to the person in charge, please? Help arrived in the person of my brother. Help arrived in the person of our next-door neighbour. I’m not a religious person. Police think they have found the person responsible for the muggings. Robbie did what any other sane person would do in this situation. She appeared in person to collect her prize. She is a warm but very private person. She’s the right person for the job. The disciplinary panel will notify the person concerned of its findings. The police now realize that they had the wrong person. The virus is spread from person to person. What’s she like as a person? a mentally ill person a person from Vietnam a person from the same family as Gina an openly gay person working in business the imprisonment of an innocent person to file a missing persons report A certain person told me about it. He’s a fascinating person. He’s just the person we need for the job. It’s easy to send an email to the wrong person by accident. This vehicle is licensed to carry 4 persons.Idioms if you have or carry something about/on your person, you carry it about with you, for example in your pocket Relatives of the dead man were traced through an address found on his person.
    be no respecter of persons
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    to treat everyone in the same way, without being influenced by their importance, wealth, etc. Death is no respecter of persons.
     if you do something in person, you go somewhere and do it yourself, instead of doing it by letter, asking somebody else to do it, etc. He had to pick up his welfare cheque in person.
    in the person of somebody
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    (formal) in the form or shape of somebody Help arrived in the person of his mother. The firm has an important asset in the person of the sales director.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: person