- A retired officer and friend of Sir John Middleton who falls in love with Marianne Dashwood and acts kindly, honorably, and graciously towards the Dashwoods throughout the novel
- The kind and loving mother of Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret and second wife to Henry Dashwood. She has inherited no fortune of her own but wants the best for her daughters and shares Marianne's romantic sensibilities.
- The nineteen-year-old eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood and the heroine of Austen's novel. Elinor is composed but affectionate, both when she falls in love with Edward Ferrars and when she comforts and supports her younger sister Marianne.
- The father of John Dashwood and, by a second marriage, of Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret Dashwood. He dies in the opening chapter of the novel and bequeaths his estate at Norland to his son, leaving his wife and daughters impoverished.
- The selfish, snobbish, and manipulative wife of John Dashwood and the sister of Edward and Robert Ferrars.
- The weak-minded and money-grubbing heir to the Norland estate. At his wife Fanny's suggestion, he leaves his mother and sisters with very little money and remains largely unconcerned for their welfare.
- The thirteen-year-old, good-humored youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood, Margaret shares her sister Marianne's romantic tendencies.
- The seventeen-year-old second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood. Marianne's spontaneity, excessive sensibility, and romantic idealism lead her to fall in love with the debaucherous John Willoughby, though he painfully spurns her, causing her to finally recognize her misjudgment of him. After this turn of heart, she ultimately marries her long-standing admirer, Colonel Brandon.
- The wealthy, manipulative mother of Edward and Robert who disinherits her first son when he refuses to marry a rich heiress.
- The sensible and friendly older brother of Fanny Dashwood and Robert Ferrars. Edward develops a close relationship with Elinor while staying at Norland and ultimately marries her, after he is freed from a four-year secret engagement to Lucy Steele.
- A conceited coxcomb and the younger brother of Edward and Fanny. Robert inherits his mother's fortune after she disinherits Edward. Ironically, he ultimately marries Lucy Steele, even though it was Edward's engagement to this same woman that caused his mother to disinherit him.
Miss Sophia Grey
- The wealthy heiress whom Willoughby marries after abandoning Marianne.
- Lady Middleton's gossipy but well-intentioned mother who invites the Dashwood sisters to stay with her in London and makes it her "project" to marry them off as soon as possible.
- A distant relation of the Dashwoods who lives at Barton Cottage with her husband Sir John Middleton and their four spoiled children
Sir John Middleton
- The jovial but vulgar distant relation of the Dashwoods who invites Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters to stay at Barton Cottage after Mr. and Mrs. John Dashwood inherit Norland, leaving the women homeless.
Mr. Thomas Palmer
- Mrs. Palmer's gruff, unemotional husband.
Mrs. Charlotte Palmer
- Mrs. Jennings' talkative and foolish daughter who invites the Dashwood sisters to stay at her home in Cleveland on their way from London to Barton.
- Lucy Steele's older, unmarried sister who accidentally reveals her sister's secret engagement to Edward Ferrars.
- Mrs. Jennings' cousin and a sly, selfish, and insecure young woman. She has been secretly engaged to Edward Ferrars for four years but she ultimately marries his brother, Robert, once Edward is disinherited.
- An attractive but deceitful young man who wins Marianne Dashwood's heart but then abandons her (greedily) in favor of the wealthy Miss Sophia Grey.