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dramatis personae

[dram-uh-tis per-soh-nee, drah-muh-] /ˈdræm ə tɪs pərˈsoʊ ni, ˈdrɑ mə-/
noun
1.
(used with a plural verb) the characters in a play.
2.
(used with a singular verb) a list of the characters preceding the text of a play.
Origin
1720-1730
1720-30; < Latin: characters of the play
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for dramatis personae

dramatis personae

/ˈdrɑːmətɪs pəˈsəʊnaɪ/
plural noun (often functioning as sing)
1.
the characters or a list of characters in a play or story
2.
the main personalities in any situation or event
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin
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 dramatis personae
dramatis personae
Latin for "persons of a drama."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dramatis personae in Culture
dramatis personae [(dram-uh-tis puhr-soh-nee, drah-muh-tis puhr-soh-neye)]

A Latin expression for “cast of characters.” It means literally “the persons of the drama” and is occasionally used at the beginning of scripts for plays as the title of the list of characters.

Note: In general, the “dramatis personae” are the participants in an event: “Winston Churchill, Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin were the dramatis personae at the Yalta Conference.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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