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See also: pèrsonne and persónn-e



Inherited from Middle French personne, from Old French persone, presonne, from Latin persona, of unknown, perhaps Etruscan, origin.



personne f (plural personnes)

  1. person
    • 1913, Marcel Proust, Du côté de chez Swann:
      Mais les noms présentent des personnes — et des villes qu’ils nous habituent à croire individuelles, uniques comme des personnes — une image confuse qui tire d’eux, de leur sonorité éclatante ou sombre, la couleur dont elle est peinte uniformément comme une de ces affiches, entièrement bleues ou entièrement rouges, dans lesquelles, à cause des limites du procédé employé ou par un caprice du décorateur, sont bleus ou rouges, non seulement le ciel et la mer, mais les barques, l’église, les passants.
      But names present to us—of persons and of towns which they accustom us to regard as individual, as unique, like persons —a confused picture, which draws from the names, from the brightness or darkness of their sound, the colour in which it is uniformly painted, like one of those posters, entirely blue or entirely red, in which, on account of the limitations imposed by the process used in their reproduction, or by a whim on the designer's part, are blue or red not only the sky and the sea, but the ships and the church and the people in the streets.

Related terms[edit]


personne m or f

  1. (with ne) no one, nobody
    Il n'y a personne ici.There is nobody here.
    Qui l'a lu? Personne.Who has read it? No one.
    Il n'a parlé avec personne.
    He spoke to nobody.
    Personne ne parle avec lui.
    No one speaks with him.
    Synonyms: âme qui vive, qui que ce soit
  2. anyone
    Il le sait mieux que personne.He knows it better than anyone.
    Synonyms: âme qui vive, qui que ce soit


  • Louisiana Creole: personne

Further reading[edit]

Louisiana Creole[edit]


From French personne (person), compare Haitian Creole pèsonn.



  1. nobody, no one


  • Alcée Fortier, Louisiana Folktales

Middle English[edit]


personne (plural personnes)

  1. Alternative form of persoun
    • 15th century, from Robert Cotton’s manuscript Faustina D. iv., “Appendix VII.”, in Brewer, John Sherren, editor, Rerum Britannicarum Medii Ævi Scriptores, or Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland During the Middle Ages: Monumenta Franciscana, London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts, published 1858, pages 45, 569:
      And by þis skill comes man to þe knawynge of Godd, þat he es a Godd in hymself and thre in personnes. [] The IIde is, that when they goo abowte eny procuratyoun that in noo wyse they may present eny personne to whom the almys may be gevynn, for and yf they doo they resceive money by a mene persone, therfor when they go for suche almys they shall exhorte them that gevith hit he wille wytsaff to doo the almes them self, or ellis to commyt yt to a nother, the whiche may do hit in his name; but yf it wille nat please hym soo too doo then the bretherne may name a personne, the whiche in his name that gevethe yt may doo the almys, as Pope Nicholas saith in his declaration.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
    • c. 1440, from Robert Thornton’s manuscript, “I. Dan Jon Gaytryge’s Sermon”, in Perry, George, editor, Religious Pieces in Prose and Verse, London: N. Trübner & Co., published 1867, pages 3–4:
      The toþer artecle es þat we sall trowe þat He, Godd and man bathe in a personne, was sothefastly of þat blessyde maydene, Godd getyne of his ffadire be-fore any tyme, and man borne of his modir and broghte furthe in tyme. [] The sexte artecle es þat we sall trowe þat one þe fourtede day eftyr þat He rase thurgh strenghe of hym-selfe, He steye in till Heuene, whare oure kynde es now in his blyssyde personne, noghte anely euyne ne mete till his angells, bot hey coround kynge abowne all His angells, þat before tyme was lesse þan þe kynde of angells.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
    • a. 1578, Letters and Memorials of State, in the Reigns of Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, King James, King Charles the First, Part of the Reign of King Charles the Second, and Oliver’s Usurpation (in English), London, published 1746, pages 190, 268, 269:
      Laſtly, Where the ſaid Sir Nicholas hath ſeruyd your Majeſtie as Cheiff Comyſſioner in the Province of Vlſter xj Yeres, and hetherto hath not had any ordinary Allowaunce for the ſame, aſſuring him ſelf, that thoſe whome hath bin Lord Deputies, and the whole Realme, will ſaye that his Chardges and Expences therin, hath not bin inferior to either the Preſydents of Connaught or Mounſter: He humblie beſecheth your Majeſtie, that if he be thought a fytt Perſonne to contynewe the ſaid Chardge, then he maye have ſomme convenyent Allowaunce to him aſſigned for Thexecucion therof. [] The cheife Perſonne who kept his Howſe, before vs all, burthened the ſaied Sir Nicholas, with no more Hurtes donne vnto the ſaid Viſcount hym ſelfe, then the Takinge of a Barrell of Drincke; a Bacon, and certeine Oetes, all which his Man delyvered for Enterteinemente, beinge of no ſoche Value, as for ſoche a Perſonne, to ſoch a Servitor, in his Tyme of Service to be accompted of. [] For by the Declaration of Henrie Davills, Robert Harpooll, Capten Macwoorthe, and v or vj other Perſonnes of Creditt, who were with Sir Nicholas, it apearethe, that after he tooke vp Lodginge, he gave Chardge to everie Capten, to foreſee that there ſhould be no Spoile committed by the Soldiours, beinge in Nombre Cxl, nor any Thinge to be taken withouthe Payment, proteſtinge Hanginge to any, that ſhould take the Value of a Mutton.