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impersonal

[ im-pur-suh-nl ]
/ ɪmˈpɜr sə nl /
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adjective

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.
Grammar.
  1. (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.
  2. (of a pronoun or pronominal reference) indefinite, as French on “one.”

noun

Grammar. an impersonal verb or pronoun.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “THEIR,” “THERE,” AND “THEY’RE”

Are you aware how often people swap around “their,” “there,” and “they’re”? Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
Question 1 of 7
Which one of these commonly confused words can act as an adverb or a pronoun?

Origin of impersonal

From the Late Latin word impersōnālis, dating back to 1510–20. See im-2, personal

OTHER WORDS FROM impersonal

im·per·son·al·ly, adverbsu·per·im·per·son·al, adjectivesu·per·im·per·son·al·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for impersonal

British Dictionary definitions for impersonal

impersonal
/ (ɪmˈpɜːsənəl) /

adjective

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

Derived forms of impersonal

impersonality, nounimpersonally, adverb
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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