Persona non grata

In Latin, persona non grata means, literally, person not welcome, and from this we can infer the loan phrase‘s English definition. It means unacceptable or unwelcome, and it also works as a noun meaning an unacceptable or unwelcome person. Its Latin plural, should you ever need it, is personae non gratae.

The first documented instances of persona non grata in English are from the late 19th century. The phrase was originally italicized and sometimes still is, but we usually stop italicizing loan phrases once they’re established in English.

Example

He was twice banned from India and on occasion declared persona non grata by both China and Nepal. [Telegraph]

That’s because God is persona non grata in public schools and has been so for decades. [Conway Daily Sun]

Despite the furore that lead to him being persona non grata at Cannes earlier this year, Lars von Trier is still a hit with Europe’s film judges. [Guardian]

Before his brash comments made Brett Ratner persona non grata at the Oscars, he was just a simple Everyman director … [New York Magazine]

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