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[pur-suh-nij] /ˈpɜr sə nɪdʒ/
a person of distinction or importance.
any person.
a character in a play, story, etc.
Origin of personage
1425-75; late Middle English: body or image (statue, portrait) of a person (< Old French) < Medieval Latin persōnāgium. See person, -age
Related forms
nonpersonage, noun
1. See person. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for personage
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now what other personage is there in Shakespeare who shows these traits or some of them?

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • The personage on the hearthrug had been listening with profound attention.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • Mr. Macgregor, rising, advanced with great respect to this personage.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • But Philip had another motive in continuing his acquaintance with that personage.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Until now this personage had escaped the observation of the travelers.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • The personage never opened his book, and never looked at the clergyman.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • But that is but the vision of a second; my mind has been thinking of the soul that is to govern this personage.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • But I was allowed to do anything that day, for I had become a personage.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Behind it rode a personage wearing a scarlet hat and garments of purple.

British Dictionary definitions for personage


an important or distinguished person
another word for person (sense 1) a strange personage
(rare) a figure in literature, history, etc
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
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Word Origin and History for personage

mid-15c., "body of a person" (with regard to appearance), from Old French personage "size, stature," also "a dignitary" (13c.), from Medieval Latin personaticum (11c.), from persona (see person). Meaning "a person of high rank or distinction" is attested from c.1500 in English; as a longer way to say person, the word was in use from 1550s (but often slyly ironical, with suggestion that the subject is overly self-important).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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