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
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

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

There’s something so much more intimate being here at this time. Matt Hranek, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Visit Norway, According To Two Design Insiders," 3 Dec. 2018 Revelstoke, Sun Peaks, Whistler Blackcomb, and Mount Washington are just a few of the city's areas and attractions that will give you those same gorgeous wintry views in an intimate setting. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Hallmark's 'Welcome to Christmas' Movie Was Filmed in a Real-Life Winter Wonderland," 9 Dec. 2018 Since 1950, Jamaica Inn in beautiful Ocho Rios has welcomed guests like family to an intimate tropical setting on its own pristine private beach. Condé Naste Traveler: Post, "Free Nights This Summer!," 26 Oct. 2018 Although their wedding was intimate, and not what fans might expect of a high-profile couple, the celebration was indicative of what the couple's future together might hold. Eileen Reslen, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gisele Bündchen Shares Rare, Intimate Details About Her Wedding to Tom Brady," 2 Oct. 2018 With intertwined legs and full embraces, the physical conversation between dancers is intimate in nature — the leader moves their body to speak, and the follower replies. Savannah Eadens, chicagotribune.com, "Windy City Tango Festival brings world-champion dancers to Lakeview this weekend," 5 July 2018 What’s playing big spaces been like, given that your songs are so intimate? Maura Johnston, BostonGlobe.com, "From songwriter to singer, Southie’s Sasha Sloan is finding her own voice," 5 July 2018 The film, made with the participation of Houston’s family, offers a portrait of the singer that is intimate and quite raw. Randy Cordova, azcentral, "In revealing documentary 'Whitney,' a superstar's life unravels," 5 July 2018 Typically, those kinds of reactions won’t be very emotional — if a couple is starting to be intimate and someone has that really intense, triggered reaction, that’s not going to be because of this. Cari Romm, The Cut, "A Sex Therapist on How She’d Approach the Sexual Problems in On Chesil Beach," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This month, her long journey culminated in the launch of her cutting-edge ski intimates label, Matek. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Introducing Matek, a New Line of Cutting-Edge Ski Intimates," 4 Dec. 2018 Bluebella: Get incredibly dreamy lingerie and intimates at 20% off sitewide until November 26. Glamour, "All The Cyber Monday Fashion Deals You Need to Know," 25 Nov. 2018 Another was a dreamy light blue intimates set with metallic detailing and matching feathers that sprouted up from her shoulders. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Weeknd Cheers on Bella Hadid at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Two Years After Their Awkward Runway Reunion," 9 Nov. 2018 But only with the debut of a denim line in 1978 and intimates line in 1982 did Calvin Klein became a true blockbuster brand. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The Calvin Klein brand hired big-name fashion designer Raf Simons to build relevancy. Now he’s out.," 27 Dec. 2018 American Eagle reported its profit nearly tripled from a year earlier to $60.3 million, or 34 cents a share, driven largely by tax benefits and by sales growth from jeans at American Eagle and intimates at Aerie. Kimberly Chin, WSJ, "Sales Soar 27% at American Eagle’s Aerie, Still Short of Investors’ Hopes," 29 Aug. 2018 Your intimates drawer will thank you for stopping by True&Co. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "80+ Labor Day Sales That Are Definitely Worth Shopping This Year," 28 Aug. 2018 This isn't the first time the beauty mogul has rocked the Yeezy intimates look. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Internet Turned Kim Kardashian's Latest Underwear Instagram Into a Meme," 8 Aug. 2018 Of course, as Mr. Woodward’s book intimates, containing the president’s self-destructive tendencies is not easy. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Republicans’ Turn in the Barrel," 12 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Russian officials have been coy about how the leak was caused, even (falsely) intimating shortly after the leak's discovery that a NASA astronaut may have drilled the hole while in space. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA concerned about culture of “inappropriateness” at SpaceX," 20 Nov. 2018 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

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

13 Jan 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

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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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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