impersonal

[ im-pur-suh-nl ]
/ ɪmˈpɜr sə nl /

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.

Origin of impersonal

From the Late Latin word impersōnālis, dating back to 1510–20. See im-2, personal
Related formsim·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. 2019

Examples 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 Formsimpersonality, 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

Word Origin and History for impersonal

impersonal


adj.

mid-15c., a grammatical term, from Late Latin impersonalis, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + personalis "personal" (see personal). Sense of "not connected with any person" is from 1620s; that of "not endowed with personality" is from 1842. Related: impersonally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper