person

[13] Latin persōna originally denoted a ‘mask, particularly one worn by an actor’ (it may have been borrowed from Etruscan phersu ‘mask’). It gradually evolved through ‘character played by an actor’ (a meaning preserved in English persona [20], a term introduced by Jungian psychology) to ‘individual human being’. It entered English via Old French persone, and by the normal processes of phonetic development has become parson. But this in the Middle English period was hived off (for reasons that have never been satisfactorily explained) to ‘priest’, and the original Latinate spelling person was restored for ‘human being’. Other derivatives to have reached English include impersonate [17], personage [15], personal [14], personality [14], and, via French, personnel [19]. => IMPERSONATE, PARSON, PERSONNEL
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   The ultimate source of the word is in Latin persona, 'mask,' referring to an actor who plays the part of a given character. The Latin phrase dramatis personae, 'characters of the play,' is still sometimes used as the heading of a cast list.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • person — per·son n 1: natural person 2: the body of a human being; also: the body and clothing of a human being had drugs on his person 3: one (as a human being or corporation) that is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties see also …   Law dictionary

  • Person — Per son, n. [OE. persone, persoun, person, parson, OF. persone, F. personne, L. persona a mask (used by actors), a personage, part, a person, fr. personare to sound through; per + sonare to sound. See {Per }, and cf. {Parson}.] 1. A character or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Person — • Discusses (1) the definition of person , especially with reference to the doctrine of the Incarnation; and (2) the use of the word persona and its Greek equivalents in connection with the Trinitarian disputes. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • person — per‧son [ˈpɜːsn ǁ ˈpɜːr ] also ˌlegal ˈperson noun persons PLURALFORM [countable] LAW a person or group of people who have certain rights and duties: • In Scotland, a firm is a legal person distinct from the partners of the firm. ˌartificial… …   Financial and business terms

  • person — ► NOUN (pl. people or persons) 1) a human being regarded as an individual. 2) an individual s body: concealed on his person. 3) Grammar a category used in the classification of pronouns, verb forms, etc. according to whether they indicate the… …   English terms dictionary

  • Person L — is a band fronted by Kenny Vasoli, formerly of pop punk band The Starting Line (currently on hiatus). Kenny Vasoli is the band s lead singer and guitarist. Person L was formed in the winter of 2006 as an outlet for Vasoli to explore other musical …   Wikipedia

  • Person — Person: Das seit dem 13. Jh. bezeugte Wort (mhd. persōn‹e›) ist entlehnt aus lat. persona »Maske des Schauspielers; Rolle, die durch diese Maske dargestellt wird; Charakterrolle; Charakter; Mensch, Person«, das selbst wohl aus dem Etrusk. stammt …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • person — [pʉr′sən] n. [ME persone < OFr < L persona, lit., actor s face mask, hence a character, person, prob. < Etr phersu, mask] 1. a human being, esp. as distinguished from a thing or lower animal; individual man, woman, or child: now usually… …   English World dictionary

  • Person — (de) Person (langsame) Zömmelöm (der) Person (magere) Rebbegespens (et) Person (raffgierige) Raafalles (der) Person (schwatzhafte) Schnadder (de) Person (vorwitzige) Vürwetznas (de) …   Kölsch Dialekt Lexikon

  • person — Under Title 11 U.S.C. Section 101: (41) The term person includes individual, partnership, and corporation, but does not include governmental unit, except that a governmental unit that (A) acquires an asset from a person (i) as a result of the… …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • Person — Sf std. (12. Jh.), mhd. persōn[e] Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. persōna (auch: Charakter, Rolle , eigentlich Maske [des Schauspielers] ), dessen Herkunft umstritten ist. Adjektive: personal, personell, persönlich.    Ebenso nndl. persoon, ne.… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

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