intimate

1 of 3

adjective

in·​ti·​mate ˈin-tə-mət How to pronounce intimate (audio)
1
a
: marked by a warm friendship developing through long association
intimate friends
b
: suggesting informal warmth or privacy
intimate clubs
c
: engaged in, involving, or marked by sex or sexual relations
It must have been a shock for the author to realize—somewhere between contract and completed manuscript—that while Ms. Brickman was intimate with dozens of mobsters, she was close to none of them.Amy Pagnozzi
The father of three children by three women doesn't have a girlfriend and says he hasn't been intimate with anyone in two months.Michael Silver
2
: of a very personal or private nature
intimate secrets
3
: marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity
intimate knowledge of the law
4
b
: belonging to or characterizing one's deepest nature
intimately adverb
intimateness noun

intimate

2 of 3

noun

in·​ti·​mate ˈin-tə-mət How to pronounce intimate (audio)
: a very close friend or confidant : an intimate friend

intimate

3 of 3

verb

in·​ti·​mate ˈin-tə-ˌmāt How to pronounce intimate (audio)
intimated; intimating

transitive verb

1
: to communicate delicately and indirectly : hint
2
: to make known especially publicly or formally : announce
intimater noun
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of intimate in a Sentence

Adjective 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
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
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
They remained intimate friends throughout their lives. They are in an intimate and committed relationship. Noun 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
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
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
His coworkers knew him as “Robert,” but his intimates called him “Robbie.” usually quite aloof in public, he's actually quite relaxed with his intimates Verb 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
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
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
trying to intimate that there was more going on than anyone knew
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Jessica Capshaw is sharing intimate details about her journey to motherhood. Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 16 July 2024 The space is relatively intimate for parties of up to four people. Alexis Clinton, Axios, 16 July 2024
Noun
Each zip-up bag can house tops, bottoms, intimates, and more, keeping items separate and easily accessible. Clara McMahon, Peoplemag, 16 July 2024 The 34-piece collection spans tube dresses, zip-up jackets, wrap skorts, sweatshirts, T-shirts, joggers, sports bras, intimates, leggings and men’s underwear. Angela Velasquez, Sourcing Journal, 3 July 2024
Verb
Nestled behind a secret door is a 14-seat chef’s table, Dosa, which will soon be serving Korean cuisine to intimate parties, and there’s also two private dining options available to groups who choose the modern Japanese of flagship Akira Back. Nick Hendry, Robb Report, 10 July 2024 From Michaelangelo masterpieces to Harry’s Bar, the Oltrarno neighborhood to intimate neighborhood restaurants, Florence has something for everyone. Peter Terzian, Travel + Leisure, 9 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for intimate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'intimate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Noun

alteration of obsolete intime, from Latin intimus — see intimate entry 3

Verb

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

First Known Use

Adjective

circa 1632, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

Noun

1659, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1522, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of intimate was in 1522

Dictionary Entries Near intimate

Cite this Entry

“Intimate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intimate. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

intimate

1 of 3 verb
in·​ti·​mate ˈint-ə-ˌmāt How to pronounce intimate (audio)
intimated; intimating
1
2
: to communicate indirectly : hint
intimater noun
intimation noun

intimate

2 of 3 adjective
in·​ti·​mate ˈint-ə-mət How to pronounce intimate (audio)
1
: belonging to or characterizing one's deepest nature
her intimate reflections
2
: marked by very close association or contact
an intimate familiarity with the rules
3
a
: marked by a warm friendship developing through long association
intimate friends
b
: suggesting informal warmth or privacy
intimate clubs
4
: of a very personal or private nature
intimate secrets
intimately adverb
intimateness noun

intimate

3 of 3 noun
in·​ti·​mate ˈint-ə-mət How to pronounce intimate (audio)
: an intimate friend : confidant

More from Merriam-Webster on intimate

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