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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.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for personages
  • We unearthed these lesser-known works from well-known personages.
  • Maya history became a tapestry of precise dates and vividly named personages.
  • Generals and other famous personages can go straight to the top.
  • The same cannot be said of other high personages in her entourage.
  • Religion and theology arise from belief in supernatural personages and events.
  • These personages are more than mere simulacra, despite the fact that they live on a rarefied cerebral plane.
  • It may be one of my biases, but movies about royal personages, usually trike me as being essentially comic.
  • It was the decision of loftier personages interested in minimizing the moving around this year.
  • But this thoroughness, of course, shows itself more fully still in his great personages.
  • He abandoned the artificial emotions of heroic personages in favour of the joys and sorrows of ordinary human life.
British Dictionary definitions for personages


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 personages



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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