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person [noun] (HUMAN)

a man, woman, or child

US /ˈpɝː.sən/ 
UK /ˈpɜː.sən/ 

Who was the first person to swim the English Channel?

Oxford Essential Dictionary


 noun (plural people )
a man or woman:
I think she's the best person for the job.
We've invited a few people to dinner.

in person seeing somebody, not just speaking on the telephone or writing a letter:
I want to speak to her in person.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


person S1 W1 /ˈpɜːsən $ ˈpɜːr-/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[Word Family: noun: ↑person, ↑personality, ↑persona, ↑personage, the personals, ↑personification, ↑personnel; adjective: ↑personal ≠ ↑impersonal, ↑personalized, ↑personable; verb: ↑personalize, ↑personify; adverb: ↑personally ≠ ↑impersonally]
[Date: 1100-1200; Language: Old French; Origin: persone, from Latin persona 'actor's mask, character in a play, person', probably from Etruscan phersu 'mask']
1. (plural people /ˈpiːpəl/) a human being, especially considered as someone with their own particular character:
He was a very nice person, always pleasant and friendly.
The only person who really said anything helpful was Jack.
kind/type/sort of person
David was not the sort of person who found it easy to talk about his feelings.
I like her as a person, but not as a boss.
I still know quite a lot of people in the village.
a group of young people
city/cat/night etc person (=someone who likes a particular kind of thing)
I’m not a morning person.
2. in person if you do something in person, you go somewhere and do it yourself, instead of doing something by letter, asking someone else to do it etc:
You have to sign for it in person.
3. businessperson/salesperson etc someone who works in business, who sells things etc ⇨ ↑chairperson, ↑spokesperson
4. (plural persons) formal or law someone who is not known or not named:
The police are appealing for any person who was in the area at this time to contact them.
murder by person or persons unknown
All 115 persons on board were killed.
5. on/about your person formal if you have something on or about your person, you have it in your pockets or attached to you:
Customs officers found a gun concealed about his person.
6. in the person of somebody formal used before the name of someone who you have just mentioned in a more general way:
I was met by the police in the person of Sergeant Black.
⇨ ↑first person, ↑missing person, ↑person-to-person, ↑second person, ↑third person
• • •
The plural of person is usually people:
▪ Sixty-four people (NOT persons) died in the fire.
Persons is also used, but only in formal notices, documents, and situations:
▪ All persons born in the United States are citizens of the United States.
People meaning 'more than one person' is already plural and cannot form a plural with 's':
▪ A lot of British people (NOT peoples) are employed by foreign firms.
People meaning 'race' or 'nation' is countable and you can add 's' to form a plural in the normal way:
▪ African peoples

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

person / ˈpɜː.s ə n /   / ˈpɝː- / noun [ C ] ( plural people or formal persons ) (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.

legal Four persons have been charged with the murder.

used when describing someone and their particular type of 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.

Collins Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary


 people, persons
 (The usual word for `more than one person' is people. The form persons is used as the plural in formal or legal language.)
 1) N-COUNT A person is a man, woman, or child.
  At least one person died and several others were injured...
  Everyone knows he's the only person who can do the job...
  My great-grandfather was a person of some importance here...
  The amount of sleep we need varies from person to person...
  They were both lovely, friendly people...
  At least fifty four people have been killed and a further fifty are missing.
 2) N-PLURAL Persons is used as the plural of person in formal, legal, and technical writing.
  ...removal of the right of accused persons to remain silent...
  Persons who wish to adopt a child may contact their local social services department.
  ...persons with neck problems.
 3) N-COUNT If you talk about someone as a person, you are considering them from the point of view of their real nature.
  I've a lot of time for him as a person now...
  Robin didn't feel good about herself as a person.
 4) N-COUNT: a supp N If someone says, for example,`I'm an outdoor person' or `I'm not a coffee person', they are saying whether or not they like that particular activity or thing. [mainly SPOKEN]
  I am not a country person at all. I prefer the cities.
 5) PHRASE: PHR after v If you do something in person, you do it yourself rather than letting someone else do it for you.
  You must collect the mail in person and take along some form of identification...
  She went to New York to receive the award in person.
 6) PHRASE: PHR after v If you meet, hear, or see someone in person, you are in the same place as them, rather than, for example, speaking to them on the telephone, writing to them, or seeing them on television.
  It was the first time she had seen him in person.
  ...a trip to Hollywood to meet his favorite actor in person...
  She wanted to hear him sing in person.
 7) N-COUNT: poss N Your person is your body. [FORMAL]
  The suspect had refused to give any details of his identity and had carried no documents on his person.
 8) PHRASE: PHR n You can use in the person of when mentioning the name of someone you have just referred to in a more general or indirect way. [WRITTEN]
  We had a knowledgeable guide in the person of George Adams.
 9) N-COUNT: usu supp N In grammar, we use the term first person when referring to `I' and `we', second person when referring to `you', and third person when referring to `he', `she', `it', `they', and all other noun groups. Person is also used like this when referring to the verb forms that go with these pronouns and noun groups.
 → See also first person, second person, third person

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary


per·son /ˈpɚsn̩/ noun, pl people or per·sons [count]
✦The plural of person is usually people except in formal or legal contexts, where the plural is often persons.
1 a : a human being
• She is a very nice/shy/interesting person.
• I saw a person standing on the dock.
• Any person who wants a refund must have a receipt.
• Most people here are quite friendly.
• The tickets are $25 per person.
• The person at the front desk will be able to help you.
• The tax break is only applicable to persons in a high income bracket.
• I like her as a person, but she is not a very good writer.
• The disease is easily transmitted from person to person.
- sometimes used in compounds to avoid using man or woman
• a spokesperson
• salespeople
- see also missing person
b : a person who likes or enjoys something specified
• Our new friends are real party people. [=our new friends like parties]
• I'm just not a city person. [=I do not like the city very much]
• She's always been a cat person. [=she likes cats a lot]
- see also people person
2 pl persons law : the body or clothing of a person especially when considered as a place to hide things
• He was arrested for having a gun on his person without a permit. [=he was arrested for carrying a gun without having a gun permit]
• The dogs discovered that the men were hiding drugs about their persons.
in person
- used to say that a person is actually present at a place
• The president appeared in person at the ceremony.
• They met in person after speaking on the phone.
• You will need to sign for the package in person.
in the person of formal
- used to say that someone is the person who does something, provides something, etc.
• Relief during the blackout arrived in the person of my brother, who brought flashlights and candles.

- see also first person, second person, third person