Definition of personage in US English:



  • 1A person (often used to express their significance, importance, or elevated status)

    ‘it was no less a personage than the bishop’
    • ‘It features a number of Afghan characters, some based on historical personages and some blatantly fictional.’
    • ‘There are also historical personages with almost mythical status - Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, Admiral Nelson.’
    • ‘She appeared to be a princess or a personage of high importance anyway.’
    • ‘I suspect that the artist or PR person for this event had many similar reactions from various Z list media personages around the capital.’
    • ‘Though how many distinguished personages pass through these days is open to debate.’
    • ‘For that matter, these days, most important personages using public transportation travel incognito.’
    • ‘It's no longer in thrall to important personages and aristocrats.’
    • ‘Harold had won fame and wealth as a Viking, and had been an important personage at the Byzantine Court.’
    • ‘Look up interesting anecdotes of famous personages that demonstrate your point admirably, and insert them.’
    • ‘Works by Western filmmakers were alive to history and quite often took their cue from real life events and personages.’
    • ‘The most influential people in Cambridge society were present and many personages of notable importance had travelled up from London to attend the event.’
    • ‘There was a small red carpet, with candles around it and a smattering of journalists and photographers, talking to important personages and taking their pictures.’
    • ‘He had always thought that Air Force One jets were reserved for very important personages, like the president.’
    • ‘The personages described in these pages are not men.’
    • ‘I recommend that these few personages be accorded the honorary status of ‘Recognized-Friends-of-the-Committee’ as they wander the rest of their days in the void of this empty world.’
    • ‘He must be a very important NF personage to have such a prominent spot in the photo shoot.’
    • ‘Many of the historical personages I have written about have been the subjects of films or TV drama series.’
    • ‘We had seats in the Abbey and were able to see the Royal personages passing up the aisle fairly well, but I could not get excited.’
    • ‘The first major championship for eight long months doubles as a meeting place for just about every golf official and important personage.’
    • ‘Along with several other practitioners of my trade, and a large number of far more eminent personages, I signed the petition.’
    important person, vip, luminary, celebrity, celebutante, personality, name, famous name, household name, public figure, star, mogul, leading light, dignitary, notable, notability, person of note, worthy, panjandrum
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    1. 1.1 A character in a play or other work.
      • ‘Dancers perform and various personages enact their masquerade roles before the major characters make their appearances.’
      • ‘Brenda is lewd, tough, quick-witted, hilarious - a more vivid character than any fictional personage in recent American movies.’
      • ‘I have the ability to pour myself at will into other cartoon personages - male, female or indeterminate.’
      • ‘They require that the personages in a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, reinforced by medieval Latin personagium ‘effigy’. In early use the word was qualified by words such as honourable, eminent, but since the 19th century the notion ‘significant, notable’ has been implied in the word itself.