See more synonyms for persona on
noun, plural per·so·nae [per-soh-nee] /pərˈsoʊ ni/, per·so·nas.
  1. a person.
  2. personae, the characters in a play, novel, etc.
  3. the narrator of or a character in a literary work, sometimes identified with the author.
  4. (in the psychology of C. G. Jung) the mask or façade presented to satisfy the demands of the situation or the environment and not representing the inner personality of the individual; the public personality (contrasted with anima).
  5. a person's perceived or evident personality, as that of a well-known official, actor, or celebrity; personal image; public role.

Origin of persona

First recorded in 1905–10, persona is from the Latin word persōna mask, character. See person

in propria persona

[in proh-pree-uh per-soh-nuh]
adverb Law.
  1. represented by oneself and not by an attorney. Abbreviation: in pro. per.

Origin of in propria persona

1645–55; < Latin: in one's own person

persona grata

[per-soh-nah grah-tah; English per-soh-nuh grah-tuh, grey-tuh, grat-uh]
noun, plural per·so·nae gra·tae [per-soh-nahy grah-tahy; English per-soh-nee grah-tee, grey-, grat-ee] /pɛrˈsoʊ naɪ ˈgrɑ taɪ; English pərˈsoʊ ni ˈgrɑ ti, ˈgreɪ-, ˈgræt i/. Latin.
  1. an acceptable person, especially a diplomatic representative acceptable to the government to which he or she is accredited.

persona non grata

[per-soh-nah nohn grah-tah; English per-soh-nuh non grah-tuh, grey-, grat-uh]
noun, plural per·so·nae non gra·tae [per-soh-nahy nohn grah-tahy; English per-soh-nee non grah-tee, grey-, grat-ee] /pɛrˈsoʊ naɪ noʊn ˈgrɑ taɪ; English pərˈsoʊ ni nɒn ˈgrɑ ti, ˈgreɪ-, ˈgræt i/. Latin.
  1. a person who is not welcome: He has become persona non grata in our club since his angry outburst.
  2. a diplomatic representative unacceptable to an accrediting government.
Compare persona grata. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for persona

Contemporary Examples of persona

Historical Examples of persona

  • He is, therefore, persona gratissima at the High Court of Reason.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • He speaks of the benefit of joinder as derived from the persona of the grantor.

    The Common Law

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  • I may have been persona non grata, but, if so, she did not express her feeling.

    Birds of the Rockies

    Leander Sylvester Keyser

  • And he must find out whether the Crawleighs regarded him as a persona grata.

    Lady Lilith

    Stephen McKenna

  • Harvey attended the King to Oxford where he was at once received as a persona grata.

    William Harvey

    D'Arcy Powers

British Dictionary definitions for persona


noun plural -nae (-niː)
  1. (often plural) a character in a play, novel, etc
  2. an assumed identity or character
  3. (in Jungian psychology) the mechanism that conceals a person's true thoughts and feelings, esp in his adaptation to the outside world

Word Origin for persona

Latin: mask

in propria persona

  1. mainly law in person; personally

persona grata

noun plural personae gratae (pɜːˈsəʊniː ˈɡrɑːtiː)
  1. an acceptable person, esp a diplomat acceptable to the government of the country to which he or she is sent

persona non grata

noun plural personae non gratae (pɜːˈsəʊniː nɒn ˈɡrɑːtiː)
  1. an unacceptable or unwelcome person
  2. a diplomatic or consular officer who is not acceptable to the government or sovereign to whom he or she is accredited
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 persona

1917, "outward or social personality," a Jungian psychology term, from Latin persona "person" (see person). Used earlier (1909) by Ezra Pound in the sense "literary character representing voice of the author." Persona grata is Late Latin, literally "an acceptable person," originally applied to diplomatic representatives acceptable to the governments to which they were sent; hence also persona non grata (plural personæ non gratæ).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

persona in Medicine


n. pl. per•so•nas
  1. The role that one assumes or displays in public or society; one's public image or personality, as distinguished from the inner self.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

persona in Culture

persona non grata

[(puhr-soh-nuh non grah-tuh, grat-tuh)]

A person who is no longer favored or welcome: “After my angry words with the manager, I am persona non grata at the video store.” From Latin, meaning “an unacceptable person.”

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.