intimate

adjective
in·​ti·​mate | \ ˈin-tə-mət How to pronounce intimate (audio) \

Definition of intimate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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
b : belonging to or characterizing one's deepest nature

intimate

noun
in·​ti·​mate | \ ˈin-tə-mət How to pronounce intimate (audio) \

Definition of intimate (Entry 2 of 3)

: a very close friend or confidant : an intimate friend

intimate

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

Definition of intimate (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to communicate delicately and indirectly : hint
2 : to make known especially publicly or formally : announce

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Other Words from intimate

Adjective

intimately adverb
intimateness noun

Verb

intimater noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for intimate

Synonyms: Adjective

bosom, buddy-buddy, chummy, close, especial, familiar, friendly, inseparable, inward, near, thick, tight

Synonyms: Noun

alter ego, amigo, buddy, chum, compadre, comrade, confidant, confidante, crony, familiar, friend, mate [chiefly British], musketeer, pal

Synonyms: Verb

allude, hint, imply, indicate, infer, insinuate, suggest

Antonyms: Adjective

distant

Antonyms: Noun

enemy, foe

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Choose the Right Synonym for intimate

Verb

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The conversation between drawing and painting for Gorky was intense and intimate. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Splendid Arshile Gorky, in Venice," 3 Aug. 2019 Director Casey Stangl has cleverly rethought this massive show for a tiny space, making the story at once intimate and epic. Los Angeles Times, "SoCal theater listings, Aug. 4-11: ‘Eurydice,’ ‘Zoot Suit,’ ‘Shrek the Musical’ and more," 2 Aug. 2019 Her deep love of people was reflected in how Maggie engaged her family and friends in sincere and intimate conversations about the important activities in their lives. courant.com, "Margaret A. Riley," 1 Aug. 2019 These publications showcased casual and intimate portraits of celebrities and community leaders in black and white or four-color spreads; fashion photography; and commercial ads depicting black families. Syreeta Mcfadden, The Atlantic, "Why Ebony Magazine’s Archives Were Saved," 31 July 2019 Swift built her reputation as a songwriter on her ability to do two things: write an impossibly catchy pop hook and get incredibly messy and intimate and personal in her lyrics. Constance Grady, Vox, "Taylor Swift’s new single, “Archer,” is Swift at her most intimate and vulnerable," 24 July 2019 Aside from siphoning off some of the couples who might otherwise have chosen to get married at the courthouse, Lutz is betting the museum’s setting will appeal to anyone looking for an intimate and unique venue for 75 or fewer guests. Janene Holzberg, baltimoresun.com, "‘I knew it was the place’: Museum of Howard County History provides unique venue for weddings, showers," 19 July 2019 Holter masterfully makes recordings that feel delicate and intimate while also layering them with instrumentation and sounds, a sort of whispery modern version of chamber pop. Houston Chronicle, "The Must List: Q-Fest, The Try Guys, Alejandro Escovedo," 18 July 2019 The florals and reception details gave their elegant and intimate day the ultimate flair at an unbeatable price. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Bridal Bliss: We Loved Maurice and Ebone's Beautiful Black Tie Wedding Vibes," 17 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The cinematic vignette follows a Bonnie & Clyde type of romance, as the songstress and her lover share an intimate yet bloodied embrace after robbing a store. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Sabrina Claudio's 'Holding the Gun' Is an Ode to Loyalty: Watch," 31 July 2019 Add an extra 50% off to marked down intimates now through July 8. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "Your Guide to the Best July 4th Sales in 2019," 30 June 2019 The prince and his intimates admired and were captivated by Brummell’s aesthetic, quick wit, and charm. Ignacio Peyró, National Geographic, "This 19th-century London dandy caused a style revolution," 18 June 2019 The 1940 introduction of nylon revolutionized the garment industry, and women flocked to purchase intimates created with the new synthetic material. Vogue, "The True History of the Ultimate Wardrobe Essential—Your Bra," 11 Mar. 2019 Tcheng interviewed both executives at the companies that owned Halston’s business, as well as his intimates. Vogue, "Watch an Exclusive Clip of Halston Before Its Sundance Premiere—And Read What the Director and Producer Say About Its Making," 23 Jan. 2019 Despite sliding with the broader market this month, teen retailer American Eagle Outfitters ’ shares remain up 15% this year, thanks to soaring sales in its jeans and Aerie intimates businesses. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Small Caps Become Latest Winning Trade to Collapse," 15 Oct. 2018 With his appointment, Simons would run the company’s many-tentacled business: intimates, denim, men and women’s runway collections, and home goods. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The Calvin Klein brand hired big-name fashion designer Raf Simons to build relevancy. Now he’s out.," 27 Dec. 2018 Les Coquines Loungewear, intimates, and fitness gear at Les Coquines are 40 percent off through the holiday weekend. Glamour, "The Best 2018 Memorial Day Sales to Shop This Weekend," 22 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The interior remains largely unchanged from its Boot and Shoe days, from the floor-to-ceiling wood and intimate back bar to the cafe-style front of the house and ivy-strewn back patio. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "First Look: Oakland’s former Boot and Shoe Service re-opens with new name — and a promise," 16 Aug. 2019 Coach Vic Fangio said the Broncos discussed signing a tight end over the weekend, but basically intimated they didn’t like what was available (which isn’t much). Ryan O'halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Mailbag: Did the team give up on quarterback Paxton Lynch too soon?," 13 Aug. 2019 The club has intimated as much and has taken corrective action in some areas already, but make no mistake that Richey is not one of those flaws. Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati analysis: Goalkeeper Spencer Richey isn't to blame for the club's struggles," 22 July 2019 In the documentary, Sly intimated that Manning took HGH that had been prescribed for his wife, Ashley, and shipped to her from Guyer Institute. Jenny Green, Indianapolis Star, "5 things we now know about the Al Jazeera-Peyton Manning legal battle," 13 June 2018 The Maybach name intimates something greater: opulence. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Mercedes' Electric Maybach SUV Comes With a Built-In Tea Kettle," 24 Apr. 2018 Joe's trauma is dramatized through abrupt, elliptical flashbacks that intimate horrific childhood abuse and relate his distressing experiences in the line of duty, first as a soldier and later as an FBI agent. Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader, "You Were Never Really Here updates Taxi Driver to an even colder urban landscape," 12 Apr. 2018 At the hearings and in its findings,, the Commission intimated that the public should have provided that expertise at its expense. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "TopGolf fight to continue as Hurstbourne neighbors plan to appeal," 18 Oct. 2018 The club has intimated as much and has taken corrective action in some areas already, but make no mistake that Richey is not one of those flaws. Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati analysis: Goalkeeper Spencer Richey isn't to blame for the club's struggles," 22 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intimate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of intimate

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

History and Etymology for intimate

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

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Statistics for intimate

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intimate

The first known use of intimate was in 1522

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More Definitions for intimate

intimate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of intimate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having a very close relationship : very warm and friendly
: very personal or private
: involving sex or sexual relations

intimate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of intimate (Entry 2 of 3)

somewhat formal : a very close and trusted friend : an intimate friend

intimate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of intimate (Entry 3 of 3)

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

intimate

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

Kids Definition of intimate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to say indirectly : hint at She intimated that I should go.

intimate

adjective
in·​ti·​mate | \ ˈin-tə-mət How to pronounce intimate (audio) \

Kids Definition of intimate (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : very personal or private intimate thoughts
2 : marked by very close association intimate friends
3 : suggesting closeness or warmth : cozy an intimate restaurant

Other Words from intimate

intimately adverb

intimate

noun
in·​ti·​mate | \ ˈin-tə-mət How to pronounce intimate (audio) \

Kids Definition of intimate (Entry 3 of 3)

: a very close and trusted friend

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More from Merriam-Webster on intimate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with intimate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intimate

Spanish Central: Translation of intimate

Nglish: Translation of intimate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intimate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on intimate

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