impersonal[im pʉr′sə nəl]
- The definition of impersonal is not being personal and is someone or something that doesn't have a connection to any person or does not show emotions.
- A large corporation that doesn't focus on people is an example of something that would be described as impersonal.
- A cold room devoid of personality or human touch is an example of a room that would be described as impersonal.
- not personal; specif.,
- without connection or reference to any particular person: an impersonal comment
- not existing as a person: an impersonal force
- not showing human feelings, esp. sympathy or warmth: don't be so cold and impersonal
- designating or of a verb occurring only in the third person singular, in English generally with it as the indefinite subject (Ex.: “it is snowing”)
- indefinite: said of pronouns
Origin of impersonalLate Latin impersonalis
an impersonal verb or pronoun
- Lacking personality; not being a person: an impersonal force.
- a. Showing no emotion or personality: an aloof, impersonal manner.b. Having no personal reference or connection: an impersonal remark.c. Not responsive to or expressive of human personalities: a large, impersonal corporation.
- Grammar a. Of, relating to, or being a verb that expresses the action of an unspecified subject, as in methinks, “it seems to me”; Latin pluit, “it rains”; or, with an expletive subject, it snowed.b. Indefinite. Used of pronouns.
(comparative more impersonal, superlative most impersonal)
- Not personal; not representing a person; not having personality.
- An almighty but impersonal power, called Fate. –Sir J. Stephen.
- Lacking warmth or emotion; cold.
- She sounded impersonal as she gave her report of the Nazi death camps.
- (grammar, of a verb or other word) Not having a subject, or having a third person pronoun without an antecedent.
- The verb “rain” is impersonal in sentences like “It’s raining.”
From French impersonnel, from Latin impersonalis, from Latin im- (“not”) + personalis (“personal”).