[ pur-suh-nel ]
/ ˌpɜr səˈnɛl /


a body of persons employed in an organization or place of work.
(used with a plural verb) persons: All personnel are being given the day off.

Origin of personnel

1825–35; < French, noun use of personnel (adj.) personal < Late Latin persōnāle, neuter of persōnālis; replacing personal (noun), Anglicized form of French personnel; compare German Personal, variant of Personale, Italian personale. See matériel

usage note for personnel

2. Some usage guides object to the use of personnel as a plural. However, this use is well established and standard in all varieties of speech and writing. The use of personnel with a preceding number is largely restricted to business and government communications: Six personnel were transferred.


personal personnel (see usage note at the current entry) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for personnel

British Dictionary definitions for personnel

/ (ˌpɜːsəˈnɛl) /


the people employed in an organization or for a service or undertakingCompare materiel
  1. Also called: human resources the office or department that interviews, appoints, or keeps records of employees
  2. (as modifier)a personnel officer

Word Origin for personnel

C19: from French, ultimately from Late Latin persōnālis personal (adj); see person
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