a collection of poems (1926) by Ezra Pound.



noun, plural per·so·nae [per-soh-nee] /pərˈsoʊ ni/, per·so·nas.

a person.
personae, the characters in a play, novel, etc.
the narrator of or a character in a literary work, sometimes identified with the author.
(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).
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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for personae

Contemporary Examples of personae

  • Glover seems to be combining his personae, and the response has been positive.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Harry Potter Hip-Hop

    Jaimie Etkin

    July 13, 2011

  • But his personae kept evolving, infuriating listeners who wanted him to be the model from three years earlier.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Dylan's 70 Years of Trouble

    David Yaffe

    May 23, 2011

Historical Examples of personae

British Dictionary definitions for personae


noun plural -nae (-niː)

(often plural) a character in a play, novel, etc
an assumed identity or character
(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
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 personae



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

personae in Medicine



n. pl. per•so•nas

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.