personal

adjective
per·​son·​al | \ˈpərs-nəl, 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

personal

noun

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Claire and Kelsey’s personal lives are entangled this season based on a mutual connection to Tom Yates, Claire’s former lover who last season engaged in an impromptu act of intimacy with Kelsey in the White House press room. Lonnie Firestone, Glamour, "House of Cards' Final Season Is About Women Gaining Power—at the Expense of Other Women," 10 Nov. 2018 Of course, having a personal stylist is the dream, but the next-best thing is Amazon’s Echo Look. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "Step up your fashion sense with the Amazon Echo Look for 50% off," 6 Nov. 2018 However, like everyone else, trans people want to keep their personal lives private. SELF, "How to Make Your Gym or Fitness Space More Inclusive and Welcoming for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People," 30 Oct. 2018 To researchers, the popularity of the Moral Machine shows that people across the globe are eager to participate in the debate around self-driving cars and want to see algorithms that reflect their personal beliefs. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Out of Two Million People, Most Prefer That a Self-Driving Car Kill the Elderly," 25 Oct. 2018 The entire space is weaved with elegant, custom accents that suit her and her husband’s personal needs. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "This is How TV Personality Keltie Knight Crafted the Bedroom of Her Dreams," 25 Oct. 2018 France Anthony BayAnthony Bay Is EuropeHe has extraordinary historical and regional knowledge and an extensive network of personal contacts who open their homes to his guests. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "2018 Top Travel Specialists We Trust," 19 Oct. 2018 Their Vote Easy tool is a 16-question quiz to see which Congressional candidates match up with your personal views. Kaitlin Menza, Redbook, "Everything You Need to Know Before Voting in the Midterm Elections," 10 Oct. 2018 In the meantime, Jug's personal life is blowing up. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything That Happened On "Riverdale" Season 2," 8 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Silbert told The Sacramento Bee in an interview that Newsom attended Delancey Street Foundation roughly once a week for three years for personal and group therapy. Angela Hart, sacbee, "Gavin Newsom didn't really go to rehab | The Sacramento Bee," 23 Apr. 2018 Some dating sites and Craigslist’s personals page have already fallen victim to the new laws. Susan Elizabeth Shepard, Vox, "It’s International Whores’ Day. Let’s talk about why strippers need better labor laws.," 1 June 2018 Police found that the boy had posted an ad on Craigslist.org under Hartford/personals/casual encounters. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Manchester Man Faces Federal Child Porn Charges," 26 Apr. 2018 The online site, which features free classified ads for everything from jobs to housing to dump trucks, shut down its personals sections Friday for U.S. sites. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Craigslist ditches personals ads following passage of sex-trafficking law | The Sacramento Bee," 25 Mar. 2018 On the 40-yard dash, try for personal bests in both attempts because the times are averaged, but decelerate gradually to avoid pulling a muscle. Liz Clarke, chicagotribune.com, "'Super agents' rep 75 percent of NFL players. It's a competitive fight to sign the rest.," 20 Apr. 2018 One of them feels personal: Gomes cast his girlfriend and best friend to portray a couple getting engaged on a beach. Muri Assunção, Billboard, "Meet Nuno Gomes, the Director Behind Videos From Latin Superstars Ozuna and Natti Natasha," 21 May 2018 In one sting, a deputy posted an ad in the personals section on doublelist.com. David Harris, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Operation reduces crime, drug overdoses, sheriff's office says," 18 May 2018 The Pacers had a foul to give, but Thaddeus Young, wearing five personals, was not the wisest choice as James' defender. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers 2018: James' 44-point, last-shot masterpiece wins Game 5: Bill Livingston (photos)," 26 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of personal

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1860, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for personal

Adjective

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

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Statistics for personal

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for personal

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

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More Definitions for personal

personal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of personal

: belonging or relating to a particular person

: made or designed to be used by one person

—used to describe someone whose job involves working for or helping a particular person

personal

adjective
per·​son·​al | \ˈpər-sə-nəl \

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

personal

adjective
per·​son·​al

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on personal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for personal

Spanish Central: Translation of personal

Nglish: Translation of personal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of personal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on personal

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