Definition of impersonal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌimˈpərs(ə)n(ə)l/


1Not influenced by, showing, or involving personal feelings: the impersonal march of progress
More example sentences
  • The subject matter may be impersonal and unemotional but it doesn't make it any more enjoyable to know that.
  • It might suggest a curt, efficient, formal, impersonal, or even angry attitude about the conversation.
  • But a book is always an extension of its author, however impersonal the subject matter.
aloof, distant, remote, reserved, withdrawn, unemotional, unsentimental, dispassionate, cold, cool, indifferent, unconcerned;
formal, stiff, businesslike
informal starchy, standoffish, wooden
1.1(Of a place or organization) large, featureless, and anonymous: large, impersonal institutions
More example sentences
  • But online stores are cold, impersonal places devoid of any sense of human contact, where every book is merely an itemised commodity.
  • At the time, however, my dad deplored the feeling that he was becoming just another number in an impersonal organization, a cog in the machine.
  • You may have a tendency to avoid gyms because you think of them as unattractive, boring or impersonal places.
2Not existing as a person; having no personality: he gradually came to believe in an impersonal God
More example sentences
  • God is not a personal heavenly Father but an impersonal force.
3 Grammar (Of a verb) used only with a formal subject (in English usually it) and expressing an action not attributable to a definite subject (as in it is snowing).
Example sentences
  • Both Bactrian and Pagolak recall the mysterious Ursprache of Borges's Tlön, which contains no nouns but only impersonal verbs, and in which famous poems consist of a single enormous word.
  • The it in suffice it to say is an impersonal or indefinite pronoun, one that functions as a grammatical placeholder without supplying much real meaning.
  • A person is now ‘impersonal,’ as in an impersonal verb construction, as in ‘it is raining.’



Pronunciation: /imˌpərsnˈalədē/
Example sentences
  • Woolf's notion of diffuse impersonality is not merely a theoretical condition for artistic creativity; it is the beginning of a mystical idea, an attempt to escape the cell of self-knowledge, a longing for real things.
  • Computer presentations have become the standard in many fields, although there is a substantial wailing about the attendant impersonality (and often incomprehensibility) of the result.
  • However, though we may on calm reflection see the virtues of allowing large parts of our lives to follow well-worn paths, modern people periodically feel themselves frustrated by the impersonality and predictability of life.


Pronunciation: /imˈpərs(ə)nəlē/
Example sentences
  • In ancient Athens, the Court of the Areopagiticus was set up specifically to deal justice impersonally to criminals and bring to an end the feuds and demands for family vengeance which brutalised society.
  • Market forces, working impersonally and without ‘intelligent design,’ can give you a pretty good glimpse at the future.
  • My objection would be more to huge schools and school districts where rules for the district are decided impersonally at some big administrative building.


Late Middle English (sense 3): from late Latin impersonalis, from Latin in- 'not' + personalis (see personal).

Words that rhyme with impersonal

interpersonal, personal, transpersonal

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: im·per·son·al

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