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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English personable, personabil, equivalent to person +‎ -able. Compare Medieval Latin personabilis (personal), found in a late 13th century British source. The Middle French personable (remarkable, important) does not appear until 1528.


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɜː(ɹ)sənəbəl/
  • (file)


personable (comparative more personable, superlative most personable)

  1. (of a person) Having a pleasing appearance; attractive; handsome.
    • 1822, Sir Walter Scott, The Fortunes of Nigel, ch. 19:
      I admit him a personable man, for I have seen him; and I will suppose him courteous and agreeable.
    • 1908, E. M. Forster, A Room With a View, ch. 12:
      Barefoot, bare-chested, radiant and personable against the shadowy woods, he called: "Hullo, Miss Honeychurch! Hullo!"
  2. (of a person) Having a pleasant or manner; friendly; amiable.
  3. (law, obsolete) Enabled to maintain pleas in court.
    • 15th century, Petitions of the Commons[1]
      The Queen be by that name personable to plead
    • 1607, John Cowell), The Interpreter
      The demaundant was iudged personable to maintaine this action


  • (having a pleasing appearance or manner): affable

Derived terms[edit]