in·​ti·​ma·​tion | \ ˌin-tə-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce intimation (audio) \
plural intimations

Definition of intimation

: an indirect, usually subtle suggestion, indication, or hint intimations that she may retire from teaching next year It can be any time from the earliest intimation of fall, when wetland maples turn a searing red, to the third week of October, when gaudy leaves carpet the forest floor.— Madeline Drexler They bored me stiff but George had expertise and gave occasional intimations of power in reserve.— Tobias Wolff

First Known Use of intimation

1531, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about intimation

Time Traveler for intimation

Time Traveler

The first known use of intimation was in 1531

See more words from the same year

Statistics for intimation

Cite this Entry

“Intimation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on intimation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intimation

Britannica English: Translation of intimation for Arabic Speakers

Comments on intimation

What made you want to look up intimation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!