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
How to use person in a sentence
Added to drinking water at concentrations of around one part per million, fluoride ions stick to dental plaque.
In his view, a writer has only one duty: to be present in his books.
Yet this, in the end, is a book from which one emerges sad, gloomy, disenchanted, at least if we agree to take it seriously.
The fear of violence should not determine what one does or does not say.
The al Qaeda-linked gunmen shot back, but only managed to injure one officer before they were taken out.
Practise gliding in the form of inflection, or slide, from one extreme of pitch to another.Expressive Voice Culture|Jessie Eldridge Southwick
He alludes to it as one of their evil customs and used by them to produce insensibility.
There was a rumor that Alessandro and his father had both died; but no one knew anything certainly.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson
Truth is a torch, but one of enormous size; so that we slink past it in rather a blinking fashion for fear it should burn us.Pearls of Thought|Maturin M. Ballou
Under the one-sixth they appear as slender, highly refractive fibers with double contour and, often, curled or split ends.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd
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