Idioms about person
Origin of person
synonym study for person
grammar notes for person
Using people as a plural of person has not always been free of controversy. From the mid nineteenth to the late twentieth century, the use of people instead of persons was hotly contested; and among some news publications, book publishers, and writers of usage books, it was expressly forbidden. To quell the fires of the argument, some usage authorities attempted to regulate use of the two forms—recommending persons when counting a small, specific number of individuals ( Three persons were injured in the accident ) and people when referring to a large, round, or uncountable number ( More than two thousand people bought tickets on the first day; People crowded around the exhibit, blocking it from view ).
But efforts to impose such precise rules in language usually fail. This rule does not appear in currently popular style manuals, and if such a rule still exists in anyone's mind, it is mainly ignored. People is the plural form that most people are most comfortable with most of the time. Persons seems excessively formal and stilted in ordinary conversation or casual writing. One would probably not say, “How many persons came to your birthday party?” In legal or formal contexts, however, persons is often the form of choice ( The police are looking for any person or persons who may have witnessed the crime; Occupancy by more than 75 persons is prohibited by the fire marshal ). In addition, persons is often used when we pluralize person in a set phrase ( missing persons; persons of interest ). Otherwise, the modern consensus is that people is the preferred plural. Persons is not wrong, but it is increasingly rare.
OTHER WORDS FROM personmul·ti·per·son, adjectivesu·per·per·son, noun
Other definitions for person (2 of 2)
usage note for -person
MORE ABOUT PERSON
What is a person?
A person is a human being, especially in contrast with an animal, plant, or object, as in Layla was the only person in the room, so my cat gave her all its attention.
Person can be used in combination with an adjective word to describe something specific about that individual, as in Johann was a dog person, but his spouse was definitely a cat person.
In grammar, person is a category that distinguishes the speaker from other people. In English, you use first person when referring to yourself, either as an individual (I) or as part of a group (we). Second person refers to those you are talking to (you), and third person refers to people other than yourself and those you are speaking to (he, she, it, they).
Person has many other specialized uses, such as in philosophy and sociology.
Example: That person at the gate told me to come around this way to park.
Where does person come from?
The first records of the term person come from around 1175. It ultimately comes from the Greek prósōpa, meaning “face, mask.”
Person is a common way to refer to an individual human being and has developed some specialized uses. For example, person is sometimes used to mean someone’s body, usually referencing something they have in their possession, as in I feel so uncomfortable when I don’t have my phone on my person. In law, a natural person (that is, a human being) is distinguished from an artificial, or juristic, person, which is a legal entity (like a corporation) that has rights and duties under the law.
Did you know … ?
What are some other forms related to person?
What are some synonyms for person?
What are some words that share a root or word element with person?
What are some words that often get used in discussing person?
What are some words person may be commonly confused with?
How is person used in real life?
Person is most often used as a general term for one human being.
I am 100% a dog person, I want 7392827 when I’m older
— hrvy (@HRVY) December 15, 2017
Sorry for talking about myself in third person guys I apologize
— J (@JVCKJ) September 3, 2015
Love is when a person randomly came into your life and become the most important person to you
— aishx._x (@x_aishx) October 18, 2021
Try using person!
Is person used correctly in the following sentence?
I am clearly not a plant person because I keep forgetting to water mine!
WORDS THAT USE -PERSON
What does -person mean?
The combining form -person is used like a suffix meaning “person.” It is used in everyday and technical terms, most often to indicate a person who performs a particular job or function. It’s especially used as a replacement for gender-specific endings like -man and -woman.
The form -person originally comes from Latin persōna, meaning “role” (in life, a play, or a tale).
What are variants of -person?
Just as the word people is popularly used as a plural form of the word person, the ending -people is often used as a plural form of -person, as in salespeople.
Use of -person has increased as gender-neutral terms have become more commonly preferred. Some terms are changed in other ways, such as mail carrier being used instead of mailman. Still, some people may prefer to use the gender-specific version of a term that applies to them—a mailman may prefer to call himself a mailman and congresswoman may prefer to call herself a congresswoman, for example.
For more guidance, check out the Thesaurus.com guide to gender-neutral language.
Examples of -person
The form -woman is used in many different words and is especially associated with professions, such as businessperson, spokesperson, and cameraperson. Most terms that end with -person can be made gender-specific, such as with -man or -woman endings (or others, such as -lady). However, the opposite isn’t always true. The common gender-neutral form of fireman is firefighter (not fireperson).
What are some words that use the combining form -person?
How to use person in a sentence
“I found him to to be an interesting person,” Krauss said of the first impression.Sleazy Billionaire’s Double Life Featured Beach Parties With Stephen Hawking|M.L. Nestel|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
A Wall Street person should not be allowed to help oversee the Dodd-Frank reforms.
What I had “on the girls” were some remarkably brave first-person accounts.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003|Vicky Ward|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Scalise never would have spoken to EURO had Duke been there in person.
Pentagon leaders agree to a person that the U.S. war against ISIS is succeeding.Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many People It’s Killed in the ISIS War|Nancy A. Youssef|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Woman is mistress of the art of completely embittering the life of the person on whom she depends.Pearls of Thought|Maturin M. Ballou
But if what I told him were true, he was still at a loss how a kingdom could run out of its estate like a private person.
Levee: a ceremonious visit received by a distinguished person in the morning.
He wished her mother had not been quite such an appalling person, fat and painted.Rosemary in Search of a Father|C. N. Williamson
But she told Grandfather Mole that it was all right—that she knew a person of his age ought not to go without his breakfast.The Tale of Grandfather Mole|Arthur Scott Bailey
British Dictionary definitions for person (1 of 3)
- actually presentthe author will be there in person
- without the help or intervention of others
Word Origin for person
usage for person
British Dictionary definitions for person (2 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for person (3 of 3)
Medical definitions for person
Cultural definitions for person
An inflectional form (see inflection) of pronouns and verbs that distinguishes between the person who speaks (first person), the person who is spoken to (second person), and the person who is spoken about (third person). The pronoun or verb may be singular or plural. For example:
first person singular: I walk.
second person singular: you walk.
third person singular: he/she/it walks.
first person plural: we walk.
second person plural: you walk.
third person plural: they walk.
Other Idioms and Phrases with person
In addition to the idiom beginning with person
- person of color
- feel like oneself (a new person)
- in person
- own person, one's