Definition of “person” - English Dictionary

“person” in British English

See all translations

personnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈpɜː.sən/ us /ˈpɝː.sən/ plural people formal persons

person noun [ C ] (HUMAN)

A1 a man, woman, or child:

Who was the first person to swim the English Channel?
A meal at the restaurant costs about $70 for two people.
formal Four persons have been charged with the murder.

used when describing someone's character:

She's an extremely kind person.
He's nice enough as a person, but he's not the right man for this job.
informal I don't think of him as a book person (= a person who likes books).
in person

B2 If you do something or go somewhere in person, you do it or go there yourself:

If you can't be there in person, the next best thing is watching it on TV.

More examples

  • She's sure to get the job she wants - she's a very determined person.
  • I don't know how it's possible for a person to disappear without trace.
  • The jury has to decide whether a person is guilty or innocent of a crime.
  • I think we've chosen the right person to lead the expedition.
  • Who's the most famous person you've ever interviewed on TV?

person noun [ C ] (GRAMMAR)

specialized language, language used in grammar to describe the verbs and pronouns that refer to the different people in a conversation. The first person ("I" or "we") refers to the person speaking, the second person ("you") refers to the person being spoken to and the third person ("he", "she", "it", or "they") refers to another person or thing being spoken about or described:

The novel is written in the first person, so that the author and narrator seem to be the same.
"Am" is the first person singular of the verb "to be".

-personsuffix

uk / -pɜː.sən/ us / -pɝː.sən/

used to combine with nouns to form new nouns referring to the particular job or duty that someone has. It is often used instead of -man or -woman to avoid making an unnecessary statement about the sex of the particular person:

(Definition of “person” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“person” in American English

See all translations

personnoun [ C ]

us /ˈpɜr·sən/ plural people /ˈpi·pəl/ persons

a man, woman, or child:

Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon.
The auditorium can seat about 500 people.
The plane crashed just after takeoff, killing all 29 persons aboard.

Person is also used when describing someone’s character or personality:

I don’t think of him as a book person (= someone who likes books).
She’s nice enough as a person, but she’s not right for the job.
Note: In formal writing, the plural "persons" is sometimes preferred over "people," but "persons" is also used in news reports – At least 30 persons are dead or missing – and in the phrase "person or persons" when the number of people is not known – We expect to catch the person or persons responsible.

Idiom(s)

(Definition of “person” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“person” in Business English

See all translations

personnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈpɜːsən/ us persons

LAW →  legal person

(Definition of “person” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)