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verb in·ti·mate \ˈin-tə-ˌmāt\

Simple Definition of intimate

  • : to say or suggest (something) in an indirect way

Full Definition of intimate


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make known especially publicly or formally :  announce

  3. 2 :  to communicate delicately and indirectly :  hint

in·ti·mat·er noun
in·ti·ma·tion play \ˌin-tə-ˈmā-shən\ noun

Examples of intimate

  1. Is he really—as his advisers keep intimating to Western journalists—a serious reformer waiting to emerge from the closet? —Murray Scot Tanner, Newsweek, 6 May 2002

  2. The dome tops look like pieces of the older ridged plains, intimating that the domes formed when the plains were pushed upward from below. —Robert T. Pappalardo et al., Scientific American, October 1999

  3. He bounded on stage wearing a polo T-shirt and trousers whose sleekness intimated a large American Express bill. —Caroline Sullivan, Times (London), 15 Oct. 1992

  4. <trying to intimate that there was more going on than anyone knew>

Origin of intimate

Late Latin intimatus, past participle of intimare to put in, announce, from Latin intimus innermost, superl. of Old Latin *interus inward — more at interior

First Known Use: 1522

Synonym Discussion of intimate

suggest, imply, hint, intimate, insinuate mean to convey an idea indirectly. suggest may stress putting into the mind by association of ideas, awakening of a desire, or initiating a train of thought <a film title that suggests its subject matter>. imply is close to suggest but may indicate a more definite or logical relation of the unexpressed idea to the expressed <measures implying that bankruptcy was imminent>. hint implies the use of slight or remote suggestion with a minimum of overt statement <hinted that she might get the job>. intimate stresses delicacy of suggestion without connoting any lack of candor <intimates that there is more to the situation than meets the eye>. insinuate applies to the conveying of a usually unpleasant idea in a sly underhanded manner <insinuated that there were shady dealings>.

Rhymes with intimate

abdicate, abnegate, abrogate, acclimate, acerbate, acetate, activate, actuate, acylate, adsorbate, advocate, adulate, adumbrate, aggravate, aggregate, agitate, allocate, altercate, ambulate, amputate, animate, annotate, annulate, antedate, antiquate, apartheid, apostate, approbate, arbitrate, arcuate, arrogate, aspirate, auscultate, automate, aviate, bantamweight, Bering Strait, bifurcate, billingsgate, bipinnate, boilerplate, bombinate, brachiate, buffer state, cabinmate, cachinnate, calculate, calibrate, caliphate, candidate, cannulate, cantillate, capitate, captivate, carbonate, carbon-date, carinate, carload rate, castigate, catenate, cavitate, celebrate, cerebrate, chlorinate, circinate, circulate, city-state, client state, cogitate, colligate, collimate, collocate, commentate, commutate, compensate, complicate, concentrate, condensate, confiscate, conglobate, conjugate, consecrate, constellate, consternate, constipate, consummate, contemplate, copperplate, copulate, coronate, correlate, corrugate, coruscate, counterweight, crepitate, criminate, cruciate, cucullate, culminate, cultivate, cumulate, cuneate, cupulate, cuspidate, cyclamate, Davis Strait, deaerate, decimate, decollate, decorate, decussate, defalcate, defecate, deflagrate, dehydrate, delegate, demarcate, demonstrate, denigrate, Denmark Strait, depilate, deviate, deprecate, depredate, derivate, derogate, desecrate, desiccate, designate, desolate, desquamate, detonate, devastate, deviate, digitate, diplomate, discarnate, dislocate, dissertate, dissipate, distillate, divagate, dominate, double date, edentate, educate, elevate, elongate, eluate, emanate, emigrate, emirate, emulate, enervate, ephorate, escalate, estimate, estivate, excavate, exchange rate, exculpate, execrate, expiate, explicate, expurgate, exsiccate, extirpate, extricate, exudate, fabricate, fascinate, fashion plate, featherweight, fecundate, federate, fenestrate, festinate, fibrillate, first estate, flagellate, flocculate, fluctuate, fluoridate, foliate, formulate, fornicate, fourth estate, fractionate, fragmentate, fulminate, fumigate, fustigate, geminate, generate, germinate, glaciate, Golden Gate, graduate, granulate, gratulate, gravitate, heavyweight, hebetate, herniate, hesitate, hibernate, Hudson Strait, hundredweight, hyphenate, ideate, imamate, imbricate, imitate, immigrate, immolate, impetrate, implicate, imprecate, impregnate, incarnate, increate, incubate, inculcate, inculpate, incurvate, indagate, indicate, indurate, infiltrate, in-line skate, in-migrate, innervate, innovate, insensate, inspissate, instigate, insulate, interstate, intestate, intonate, intraplate, inundate, invocate, iodate, irrigate, irritate, isolate, iterate, jubilate, juniorate, lacerate, laminate, Latinate, laureate, legislate, levigate, levitate, liberate, license plate, liquidate, litigate, littermate, lubricate, macerate, machinate, magistrate, marginate, margravate, marinate, masticate, masturbate, maturate, mediate, medicate, meditate, meliorate, menstruate, microstate, micturate, middleweight, militate, mithridate, mitigate, moderate, modulate, motivate, multistate, mutilate, nation-state, nauseate, navigate, neonate, nictitate, niobate, nominate, numerate, obfuscate, objurgate, obligate, obovate, obviate, on a plate, operate, opiate, orchestrate, ordinate, oscillate, osculate, out-migrate, out-of-date, overstate, overweight, ovulate, paginate, palliate, palpitate, paperweight, patinate, peculate, penetrate, pennyweight, percolate, perennate, perforate, permeate, perpetrate, personate, police state, pollinate, populate, postulate, potentate, predicate, procreate, profligate, promulgate, propagate, prorogate, pullulate, pulmonate, punctuate, quantitate, rabbinate, radiate, real estate, recreate, re-create, reinstate, relegate, relocate, remonstrate, renovate, replicate, reprobate, resonate, retardate, retranslate, roller-skate, roseate, rubricate, ruinate, ruminate, runagate, running mate, rusticate, sagittate, salivate, sanitate, satiate, saturate, scintillate, second-rate, segregate, self-portrait, separate, sequestrate, seriate, sibilate, silver plate, simulate, sinuate, situate, speculate, spoliate, stablemate, starting gate, steady state, stimulate, stipulate, strangulate, stridulate, stylobate, subjugate, sublimate, subrogate, subulate, suffocate, sultanate, Sunda Strait, supplicate, surrogate, syncopate, syndicate, tablemate, tabulate, target date, terminate, tessellate, tête-à-tête, thirty-eight, titillate, titivate, tolerate, transmigrate, transudate, tribulate, tribunate, trifurcate, trilobate, tripinnate, triplicate, tunicate, turbinate, ulcerate, ululate, umbellate, uncinate, underrate, understate, underweight, undulate, ungulate, urinate, vaccinate, vacillate, validate, valuate, variate, vegetate, venerate, ventilate, vertebrate, vicarate, vindicate, violate, vitiate, water gate, Watergate, welfare state, welterweight



adjective in·ti·mate \ˈin-tə-mət\

Simple Definition of intimate

  • : having a very close relationship : very warm and friendly

  • : very personal or private

  • : involving sex or sexual relations

Full Definition of intimate

  1. 1 a :  intrinsic, essential b :  belonging to or characterizing one's deepest nature

  2. 2 :  marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity <intimate knowledge of the law>

  3. 3 a :  marked by a warm friendship developing through long association <intimate friends> b :  suggesting informal warmth or privacy <intimate clubs>

  4. 4 :  of a very personal or private nature <intimate secrets>

in·ti·mate·ly adverb
in·ti·mate·ness noun

Examples of intimate

  1. The dining room is plush and intimate, set off by some of the most extravagant floral arrangements in the city. —Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator, 31 Mar. 2009

  2. When a little-known writer undertakes a manifesto—a statement, after all, of sober purpose and principle—it is likely also to be a cri de coeur, and its reasoned argument will derive from the intimate wounds of autobiography. —Cynthia Ozick, Harper's, April 2007

  3. The company would sit around after dinner in the lavishly plain living room or wander out to the pool for more intimate conversation … —Arthur Miller, Timebends, 1987

  4. They remained intimate friends throughout their lives.

  5. They are in an intimate and committed relationship.

Origin of intimate

alteration of obsolete intime, from Latin intimus (see 1intimate)

First Known Use: 1632



noun in·ti·mate \ˈin-tə-mət\

Simple Definition of intimate

  • : a very close and trusted friend : an intimate friend

Full Definition of intimate

  1. :  a very close friend or confidant :  an intimate friend

Examples of intimate

  1. Musicians … tend not, as writers do, to write hundreds of letters sharing with intimates what is going on in their hearts or heads. —August Kleinzahler, New York Times Book Review, 18 Oct. 2009

  2. She might not mind his assistance, and he was hungering for the company of an intimate to whom he could give and from whom he could receive, and who better in all the world than Nancy? —Philip Roth, Everyman, 2006

  3. So this is a biography rich in information, written in a humble and tasteful way by an intimate whose aim is to put a lot of material at the reader's disposal … —Martha C. Nussbaum, New Republic, 31 Dec. 2001& 7 Jan. 2002

  4. His coworkers knew him as Robert, but his intimates called him Robbie.

  5. <usually quite aloof in public, he's actually quite relaxed with his intimates>

Origin of intimate

(see 2intimate)

First Known Use: 1659

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February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

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