- not personal; without reference or connection to a particular person: an impersonal remark.
- having no personality; devoid of human character or traits: an impersonal deity.
- lacking human emotion or warmth: an impersonal manner.
- (of a verb) having only third person singular forms and rarely if ever accompanied by an expressed subject, as Latin pluit “it is raining,” or regularly accompanied by an empty subject word, as English to rain in It is raining.
- (of a pronoun or pronominal reference) indefinite, as French on “one.”
- Grammar. an impersonal verb or pronoun.
Origin of impersonal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for impersonal
I think that history is certainly made by some impersonal forces, on occasion.Napoleon Was a Dynamite Dictator
November 7, 2014
In other words, markets were impersonal, but that was good, because sometimes personal ties were cruel and oppressive.Why Your Waiter Hates You
October 26, 2014
But over the 20th century, they evolved into something more mechanical and impersonal.Font of Invention
September 18, 2014
Many found this to echo a Stepford Wife mentality of women: Women like stories and language, not impersonal, cold, manly numbers!Girls Love Science. We Tell Them Not To.
July 17, 2014
Staff members can be rough and impersonal at times, particularly in high-stress areas like emergency rooms.Why Smart People Are Dumb Patients
July 14, 2014
He repeated this in a voice of impersonal courtesy, and went on to the next group.Quaint Courtships
Beautiful she had seemed to him before, but beautiful with a sort of impersonal perfection.The Avenger
E. Phillips Oppenheim
For the difference between the personal and impersonal was not marked to him as to ourselves.Philebus
That third party or common nature is not social; it is impersonal; is God.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
She was calm and impersonal during these interviews, and he tried to be so.Fair Harbor</p>
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
- without reference to any individual person; objectivean impersonal assessment
- devoid of human warmth or sympathy; coldan impersonal manner
- not having human characteristicsan impersonal God
- grammar (of a verb) having no logical subject. Usually in English the pronoun it is used in such cases as a grammatical subject, as for example in It is raining
- grammar (of a pronoun) not denoting a person
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for impersonal
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper