Pronunciation: (pûr'sun), [key]
1. a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.
2. a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.
3. Sociol.an individual human being, esp. with reference to his or her social relationships and behavioral patterns as conditioned by the culture.
4. Philos.a self-conscious or rational being.
5. the actual self or individual personality of a human being: You ought not to generalize, but to consider the person you are dealing with.
6. the body of a living human being, sometimes including the clothes being worn: He had no money on his person.
7. the body in its external aspect: an attractive person to look at.
8. a character, part, or role, as in a play or story.
9. an individual of distinction or importance.
10. a person not entitled to social recognition or respect.
11. Law.a human being (natural person) or a group of human beings, a corporation, a partnership, an estate, or other legal entity (artificial person or juristic person) recognized by law as having rights and duties.
12. Gram.a category found in many languages that is used to distinguish between the speaker of an utterance and those to or about whom he or she is speaking. In English there are three persons in the pronouns, the first represented by I and we, the second by you, and the third by he, she, it, and they. Most verbs have distinct third person singular forms in the present tense, as writes; the verb be has, in addition, a first person singular form am.
13. Theol.any of the three hypostases or modes of being in the Trinity, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
14. be one's own person, to be free from restrictions, control, or dictatorial influence: Now that she's working, she feels that she's her own person.
15. in person, in one's own bodily presence; personally: Applicants are requested to apply in person.
a combining form of person, replacing in existing compound words such paired, sex-specific forms as -man and -woman or -er 1 and -ess: chairperson; salesperson; waitperson.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.