intimate

adjective
in·ti·mate | \ˈin-tə-mət \

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

4a : intrinsic, essential

b : belonging to or characterizing one's deepest nature

intimate

noun
in·ti·mate | \ˈin-tə-mət \

Definition of intimate (Entry 2 of 3)

: a very close friend or confidant : an intimate friend

intimate

verb
in·ti·mate | \ˈin-tə-ˌmāt \
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
intimation \ˌin-tə-ˈmā-shən \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for intimate

Synonyms: Adjective

behind-the-scenes, confidential, esoteric, hush-hush, hushed, inside, nonpublic, private, privy, secret

Synonyms: Noun

alter ego, amigo, buddy, chum, compadre, comrade, confidant, confidante, crony, familiar, friend, pal

Synonyms: Verb

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

Antonyms: Adjective

common, open, public

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

Unlike this morning's reception at Windsor Castle, only 200 guests are attending tonight's intimate party, which is being hosted by Prince Charles. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Just Gave Meghan Markle a Gift from Princess Diana's Jewelry Collection," 19 May 2018 The interviews consisted of both intimate biographical details and discussions about the current election. Seth A. Richardson, cleveland.com, "Ohio governor's race 2018: Listen to our Ohio Matters podcast interviews with the candidates," 3 May 2018 Twice a year after the Missoni runway show, creative director Angela Missoni hosts an intimate dinner party for fashion editors and influencers in Milan. Mary Dellas, The Cut, "Recipes From Fashion’s Favorite Family Dinner Party," 26 Apr. 2018 Don’t go digging around in their personal life; don’t go asking intimate details that are none of your business. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Let this insufferable Q&A at a Westworld panel be a lesson to us all," 20 Apr. 2018 Instead of having to cast a wide net in searching for potential customers, advertisers now could know every intimate detail about those customers beforehand. David Dayen, The New Republic, "Ban Targeted Advertising," 10 Apr. 2018 Both came forward in interviews last month to offer intimate details about their relationships with Trump. Greg Farrell, Bloomberg.com, "Trump’s Alleged Affairs Become a Legal Threat After Raid on His Lawyer," 10 Apr. 2018 This current exhibition offers an intimate look at the friendship and respect Martin and Dietrich had for each other. Edith Newhall, Philly.com, "In Philly galleries now: Bergstrom bags, a subtle modern master, Fleisher/Ollman's 'Party'," 12 July 2018 Some of these same stars have even treated us to a more intimate look at what their lives were like growing up, posting blasts-from-the-pasts in sometimes-grainy video form for their fans. Grace Gavilanes, PEOPLE.com, "These Childhood Home Videos of Your Fave Celebrities Are Almost Too Cute to Handle," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Intimissimi Select women’s intimates and sleepwear styles are 50 percent off until Wednesday, July 4. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "All the 4th of July Sales Worth Shopping This Year," 3 July 2018 Hockney is known for his sensual, often hedonistic celebrations of his physical surroundings — lovely landscapes and lovelier portraits of friends and intimates. David Pagel, latimes.com, "Nazarian show mixes Hockney and Kelley with lesser-knowns, to splendid effect," 13 June 2018 Intimissimi Select intimates from Intimissimi are 30 percent off through Monday, May 28. Glamour, "The Best 2018 Memorial Day Sales to Shop This Weekend," 22 May 2018 Head there now to peep the live countdown ⏱ Early in March, there was mounting speculation that Rihanna might be launching her own line of intimates. Megan Decker, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rihanna Announces the Launch Date for Her Lingerie Line, Savage x Fenty," 24 Apr. 2018 On another hangs a portrait of a small boy rifling through a woman’s colorful drawer full of her intimates. Hallie Miller, baltimoresun.com, "Local artists explore femininity, sexuality at Y:Art Gallery’s ‘Bra Show’," 3 July 2018 Not all were Debussy intimates, but each was proximate enough to feel the composer’s impact, and all but one (the conductor Arturo Toscanini ) were deeply entwined with a distinct, now extinct, Gallic musical tradition. David Mermelstein, WSJ, "‘Debussy: His First Performers’ Review: Rare Restoration," 19 June 2018 And, since that is an easier concession for the children and intimates of the moneyed classes, influential fields can fill up with fancy people. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "Who Really Stands to Win from Universal Basic Income?," 24 Mar. 2014 The proposal intimates that such a change would require legislative action. Ike Swetlitz, STAT, "White House proposes a narrowing of FDA’s mission — and a new name," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But researchers have found many spiral disks that appear to be far below this mass threshold, intimating that another mechanism may be at work. Joshua Sokol, WIRED, "These Spinning Disks of Gas and Dust Reveal How Planets Get Made," 28 May 2018 Lovullo intimated that catcher Alex Avila would be activated from the disabled list and be in the starting lineup on Saturday vs. Padres right-hander Tyson Ross. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks outfielder Jon Jay opening eyes with sliding catches," 6 July 2018 Edwards, who hasn’t pitched since May 29 because of inflammation in his right shoulder, might need only one appearance before he’s activated, manager Joe Maddon intimated. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Until Yu Darvish returns, Jose Quintana says he and other Cubs starters will 'have his back'," 29 June 2018 Earlier episodes intimated that after Juliet died, the Man in Black fled to Westworld; Emily then followed him, seeking answers about her mother’s suicide. Sandra Upson, WIRED, "Westworld Recap, Season 2 Episode 9: The Many Lives of the Man in Black," 18 June 2018 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 Also, the report found that 32% of blacks said they or someone in their family had been threatened or intimated by someone with a gun, compared with 20% of whites and 24% of Hispanics. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "The disparities in how black and white men die in gun violence, state by state," 23 Apr. 2018 Philip proving to her, physically, that she actually wasn't prepared, as Elizabeth had intimated, for the spy game was important. Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critics' Conversation: Tim Goodman and Daniel Fienberg on "Powerful" 'Americans' Series Finale," 31 May 2018 Katie Landry-Guyton, the senior service hydrologist at the National Weather Galveston/Houston, also intimated that the Trinity River was due for a recalibration in flooding prediction models because of the sand and silt dumped downstream. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Trinity River changed by Hurricane Harvey," 22 May 2018

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

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

Noun

see intimate entry 1

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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Phrases Related to intimate

be on intimate terms

intimate with

Statistics for intimate

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

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

verb

English Language Learners Definition of intimate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

intimate

adjective

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

: a very close and trusted friend : an intimate friend

intimate

verb
in·ti·mate | \ˈin-tə-ˌmāt \
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 \

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 \

Kids Definition of intimate (Entry 3 of 3)

: a very close and trusted friend

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Comments on intimate

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