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

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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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 idea at the time was a series of dinners for 40, 45 people—Bottega Veneta was more intimate in terms of branding. Joshua Levine, WSJ, "And the Award for Oscar-Season Watering Hole Goes to...Gucci," 7 Feb. 2020 Four years after hackers dumped the intimate details of 32 million Ashley Madison subscribers, criminals have revived an extortion scheme that targets people who used the dating website to cheat on their partners. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Dear Ashley Madison user, I know everything about you. Pay up or else," 1 Feb. 2020 Of course, the idea gives way to some scary thoughts, too, with premonitions of a time when people will have their most intimate thoughts snatched from their conscience by corporations. Ritoban Mukherjee, Quartz, "Don’t panic, but companies are harvesting data straight from your brain," 30 Jan. 2020 That’s conducive to all kinds of chitchat—from intimate murmurs between the hard of hearing to totally silent discussions. Lisa A. Goldstein, Popular Science, "We built a better house for the 48 million Americans with hearing loss," 28 Jan. 2020 Weinstein has argued that the encounters were consensual and claims as evidence emails and texts showing an ongoing, intimate relationship with one of his accusers following the alleged assault. Vanessa K. Bohns, The Conversation, "Weinstein jurors must differentiate between consent and compliance – which research shows isn’t easy," 10 Jan. 2020 Here on Earth, heat flow is often more intimate, taking place via direct contact between materials and helped along by the wavelike collective vibrations of atoms known as phonons. Charles Q. Choi, Scientific American, "Space Heater: Scientists Find New Way to Transfer Energy Through a Vacuum," 11 Dec. 2019 Despite the podcast’s sweeping goals, the stories are intimate and conversational—as with a standout episode in which culture critic Wesley Morris identifies the echoes of black artists’ songs in the most unexpected music genres. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The 10 Best Podcasts of 2019," 30 Nov. 2019 The experience is undeniably intimate, even through the medium of film. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Bruce Springsteen keeps on running with 'Western Stars'," 23 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Poem by poem, the revisions of 1972 into 1973 vary in interest, but since each revision of language intimates a revision of thought, none are without significance. Helen Vendler, Harper's magazine, "Dearest Lizzie," 20 Jan. 2020 Luckily, Walmart is blessing us all with an intimates sale worth talking about. Dominique Hobdy, Essence, "New Year, New Undies! Update Your Intimates With This Semi-Annual Sale," 6 Jan. 2020 Who among his intimates is left to say that as 2020 is about to dawn? William Mcdonald, New York Times, "In a Year of Notable Deaths, a World of Women Who Shattered Ceilings," 26 Dec. 2019 In the interim, the VS name and branding has been overshadowed by intimates game-changers. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Here's Why Lingerie Made By Women For Women Will Rule in The Coming Decade," 21 Dec. 2019 The problem, as Krugman intimates, is that nobody wants to make the sacrifices required to fix the situation. Adam Seessel, Fortune, "Valuation: Why Health Insurer Anthem Is Worth Investing In," 19 Nov. 2019 From basics like the Glissenette Strappy Bralette to intimates like the String of Pearls Thong, the new collection features a broad style range. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Shop The New Fall/Winter 2019 Fenty x Savage Collection," 20 Sep. 2019 The accuser is Toby Darling (Andrew Burnap), a gay millennial writer; Forster, here called Morgan (Paul Hilton), the name used by his intimates, is present as a kind of spiritual godfather made flesh. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "“The Inheritance” Is a Tribute to E. M. Forster and an Audacious Work of Its Own," 25 Nov. 2019 Russian President Vladimir Putin and his intimates have erected their power base upon similar offshore networks—and may well remain reliant on American anonymity to help launder their dirty billions. Casey Michel, The New Republic, "How to Stop Kleptocrats From Stashing Their Cash in America," 18 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Rubio begins his lament by quoting Pope Leo XIII, a late-19th-century critic of socialism and laissez-faire economics, intimating that both systems are comparably problematic. David Harsanyi, National Review, "Marco Rubio’s Bizarre Turn against Capitalism," 14 Nov. 2019 But Thiel had done more than his duty to National Conservatism by intimating that a new elite could still come into being. Thomas Meaney, Harper's magazine, "Trumpism After Trump," 20 Jan. 2020 The girls silently struggle, their body language intimating their connection and growing antagonism at the same time. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "Female Athletes Get New Representation on TV," 14 Jan. 2020 In what Hinch intimated was an unexpected move, Pressly pitched again on Saturday to complete a back-to-back. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Ryan Pressly exceeds expectations in return from injury," 29 Sep. 2019 Over the weekend, the retailer apologized for a sweater on the marketplace of its Canadian site depicting a wide-eyed snowman in a Santa outfit in front of three lines of what the sweater and its description intimated was cocaine. Marc Bain, Quartz, "Colombia is threatening to sue Walmart over a cocaine-themed holiday sweater," 11 Dec. 2019 Cager appeared to confirm the reports via an Instagram post Friday morning, intimating that the injury might be season-ending. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "Georgia WR Lawrence Cager out ‘several weeks’ with ankle injury," 29 Nov. 2019 The suit also accuses Dunkin’ of keeping customers in the dark about the full extent of 2018 cyberattacks, by only intimating attempts had been made to access accounts but not that accounts had been breached. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lawsuit filed against Dunkin’ Donuts over security breaches," 26 Sep. 2019 Much was made about Olympiacos' excellent record against English sides in European competition, and the Greek side once again held a stronger opposition in their intimating backyard. SI.com, "Olympiacos 2-2 Tottenham: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Spurs Throw Away Two-Goal Lead in Greece," 18 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for intimate

Time Traveler

The first known use of intimate was in 1522

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Statistics for intimate

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intimate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intimates. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for intimate

intimate

adjective
How to pronounce intimate (audio)

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
How to pronounce intimate (audio)

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

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

intimate

verb
How to pronounce intimate (audio)

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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