dramatis personae

[ dram-uh-tis per-soh-nee, drah-muh- ]
See synonyms for dramatis personae on Thesaurus.com
  1. (used with a plural verb) the characters in a play.

  2. (used with a singular verb) a list of the characters preceding the text of a play.

Origin of dramatis personae

1720–30; <Latin: characters of the play

Words Nearby dramatis personae

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dramatis personae in a sentence

  • All the rest of the dramatis personae enter, and indulge in exclamations of joy.

  • In particular are his dramatis personae creatures by no means calculated to overawe by some extraordinary weirdness or power.

    Prophets of Dissent | Otto Heller
  • I was comforted, and began a new piece, in which a king and queen were among the dramatis personae.

    The True Story of My Life | Hans Christian Andersen

British Dictionary definitions for dramatis personae

dramatis personae

/ (ˈdrɑːmətɪs pəˈsəʊnaɪ) /

pl n(often functioning as singular)
  1. the characters or a list of characters in a play or story

  2. the main personalities in any situation or event

Origin of dramatis personae

C18: from New Latin

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

Cultural definitions for dramatis personae

dramatis personae

[ (dram-uh-tis puhr-soh-nee, drah-muh-tis puhr-soh-neye) ]

A Latin expression for “cast of characters.” It means literally “the persons of the drama” and is occasionally used at the beginning of scripts for plays as the title of the list of characters.

Notes for dramatis personae

In general, the “dramatis personae” are the participants in an event: “Winston Churchill, Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin were the dramatis personae at the Yalta Conference.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.