per·​son·​al | \ ˈpərs-nəl How to pronounce personal (audio) , ˈpər-sə-nəl \

Definition of personal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or affecting a particular person : private, individual personal ambition personal financial gain
2a : done in person without the intervention of another also : proceeding from a single person
b : carried on between individuals directly a personal interview
3 : relating to the person or body
4 : relating to an individual or an individual's character, conduct, motives, or private affairs often in an offensive manner a personal insult
5a : being rational and self-conscious personal, responsive government is still possible— John Fischer
b : having the qualities of a person rather than a thing or abstraction a personal devil
6 : of, relating to, or constituting personal property a personal estate
7 : denoting grammatical person
8 : intended for private use or use by one person a personal stereo



Definition of personal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a short newspaper paragraph relating to the activities of a person or a group or to personal matters
2 : a short personal communication in a special column of the classified ads section of a newspaper or periodical

Examples of personal in a Sentence

Adjective This is just my personal opinion. I can only tell you what I know from personal experience. He added his own personal touches to the recipe. We don't accept personal checks. He is a personal friend of mine. She is always concerned about her personal appearance. We provide each of our customers with personal service. Golf is a personal interest of mine. May I ask you a personal question? That information is very personal, and you have no business asking about it. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Bauman, who represents the area, framed the complaint as the result of Dieter's personal grievances against The Clark House. Alison Dirr, Journal Sentinel, 9 Aug. 2022 Dershowitz, in particular, noted that FBI agents likely seized documents without inquiring if they were classified, declassified, or personal to Trump. Haris Alic, Fox News, 9 Aug. 2022 Sometimes, these scammers claim free money or grants are available to pay for education, home repairs, home business expenses, household bills, or other personal needs, according to a warning from the Federal Trade Commission. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 9 Aug. 2022 The character is based on show creator Sam Levinson’s own sponsor, but in this interview, Domingo shares his personal inspiration for the character. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 9 Aug. 2022 Their language can be technical, and some doctors are … less than personal. Wired, 9 Aug. 2022 Tyler had to make an important personal and professional decision to join the Oppenheim Group after working alongside his father for the past 12 years. Natalia Senanayake, Peoplemag, 9 Aug. 2022 Markus Dohle, chief executive of Penguin Random House, who grew up in postwar Germany and has worked in repressive societies in Europe and Asia, is making a personal donation of $500,000 to combat widespread book banning in the United States. Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post, 9 Aug. 2022 Musselman in the first half was assessed a technical foul following a flurry of personal fouls on the Razorbacks on the defensive end. Scottie Bordelon, Arkansas Online, 9 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But with an artist as smart and subversive and intentional as Beyoncé, the personal is also political. Will Dukes, Rolling Stone, 29 July 2022 The 36-year-old, despite sporting a wrist injury, ate 40 hot dogs and was just short of her own personal-best of 48.5 franks. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 4 July 2022 Her story makes this campaign personal, Campbell said. Globe Staff,, 4 July 2022 Using an easy tool such as the SBI (situation, behavior, impact) to share constructive criticism will ensure that the personal is taken out of the process and only observable facts are included. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 24 June 2022 Toward the end, Salka and Arnaldur get into an argument that explores whether the political and the personal can coexist. Jane Smiley, Washington Post, 6 June 2022 As a result, their connection to the issue goes beyond the legal arguments into the realm of the personal. Gina Glantz, CNN, 13 May 2022 The arrest of this world-renowned champion of religious freedom, human rights, and democracy goes beyond the personal. Nina Shea, National Review, 12 May 2022 Two years into his career, Taylor has 76 catches — 36 as a rookie, 40 last season — for 659 yards, an impressive average of 8.7 yards per reception that is actually higher than pass-catching back Nyheim Hines’ personal-best for a single season, 7.8. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, 11 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of personal


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1860, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for personal


Middle English, from Anglo-French personel, from Late Latin personalis, from Latin persona

Learn More About personal

Time Traveler for personal

Time Traveler

The first known use of personal was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near personal

persona gratissima


personal account

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Statistics for personal

Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Personal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for personal


per·​son·​al | \ ˈpər-sə-nəl How to pronounce personal (audio) \

Kids Definition of personal

1 : of, relating to, or belonging to an individual human being : not public : not general personal property
2 : made or done by a particular individual and not by someone acting for him or her The mayor made a personal appearance.
3 : of the body Take precautions for personal safety.
4 : relating to someone's private matters May I ask you a personal question?
5 : intended for or given to one particular individual I received personal service.
6 : relating to a particular individual or his or her qualities often in a way that is hurtful I took the remark as a personal insult.

Other Words from personal

personally adverb



Legal Definition of personal

1 : of, relating to, or affecting a person: as
a : of, relating to, or based on the existence or presence of a person — see also personal injury, personal jurisdiction at jurisdiction
b : of, relating to, or restricted to a natural person and his or her rights, obligations, affairs, assets, or lifetime refused to disclose personal information released on personal recognizance
2 : of, relating to, or constituting personal property personal effects — see also personal property at property — compare real

Other Words from personal

personally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on personal

Nglish: Translation of personal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of personal for Arabic Speakers


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