"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[im-pur-suh-nl] /ɪmˈpɜr sə nl/
not personal; without reference or connection to a particular person:
an impersonal remark.
having no personality; devoid of human character or traits:
an impersonal deity.
lacking human emotion or warmth:
an impersonal manner.
  1. (of a verb) having only third person singular forms and rarely if ever accompanied by an expressed subject, as Latin pluit “it is raining,” or regularly accompanied by an empty subject word, as English to rain in It is raining.
  2. (of a pronoun or pronominal reference) indefinite, as French on “one.”.
Grammar. an impersonal verb or pronoun.
Origin of impersonal
1510-20; < Late Latin impersōnālis. See im-2, personal
Related forms
impersonally, adverb
superimpersonal, adjective
superimpersonally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for impersonal
  • There seem to be several varieties, ranging from the completely impersonal to the utterly vindictive.
  • Yours needs to stand out and should not sound formulaic and impersonal.
  • The answer, it seems, it that people are alienated from an increasingly impersonal health care system.
  • Their faces will now live forever as well as some impersonal name in the record books.
  • Participants will bat around ideas in an old restored opera house instead of an impersonal conference center.
  • Finally, there's something deliciously handmade amid the impersonal chains.
  • Feedback in research is tortuously slow, impersonal and usually negative.
  • Electronic media create an audience whose shifting moods are as impersonal as the weather.
  • Many complain of long waits and impersonal service with little follow-up care.
  • The more impersonal the process, the better for you and for the student, who learns that bureaucracies can't be wheedled.
British Dictionary definitions for impersonal


without reference to any individual person; objective: an impersonal assessment
devoid of human warmth or sympathy; cold: an impersonal manner
not having human characteristics: an impersonal God
(grammar) (of a verb) having no logical subject. Usually in English the pronoun it is used in such cases as a grammatical subject, as for example in It is raining
(grammar) (of a pronoun) not denoting a person
Derived Forms
impersonality, noun
impersonally, adverb
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
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Word Origin and History for impersonal

mid-15c., a grammatical term, from Late Latin impersonalis, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + personalis "personal" (see personal). Sense of "not connected with any person" is from 1620s; that of "not endowed with personality" is from 1842. Related: impersonally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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