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[pur-suh-nij] /ˈpɜr sə nɪdʒ/
a person of distinction or importance.
any person.
a character in a play, story, etc.
Origin of personage
1425-75; late Middle English: body or image (statue, portrait) of a person (< Old French) < Medieval Latin persōnāgium. See person, -age
Related forms
nonpersonage, noun
1. See person. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for personage
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That personage replied as if wholly to have done with the matter.

    The Outcry Henry James
  • But Philip had another motive in continuing his acquaintance with that personage.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • He still remained a personage of importance in his exile, and played an influential part even in his last years.

  • Until now this personage had escaped the observation of the travelers.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • He became a personage of more local importance than ever, deferred to, his opinions quoted.

    The Land of Strong Men Arthur M. Chisholm
  • But that is but the vision of a second; my mind has been thinking of the soul that is to govern this personage.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • I laughed at her, and said, Whoever the personage may be, she knows just as much about it as you and I do.

    Memoirs of Leonora Christina Leonora Christina Ulfeldt
  • But I was allowed to do anything that day, for I had become a personage.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • The personage on the hearthrug had been listening with profound attention.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for personage


an important or distinguished person
another word for person (sense 1) a strange personage
(rare) a figure in literature, history, etc
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 personage

mid-15c., "body of a person" (with regard to appearance), from Old French personage "size, stature," also "a dignitary" (13c.), from Medieval Latin personaticum (11c.), from persona (see person). Meaning "a person of high rank or distinction" is attested from c.1500 in English; as a longer way to say person, the word was in use from 1550s (but often slyly ironical, with suggestion that the subject is overly self-important).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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