Open main menu




From Latin intimare (to put or bring into, to impress, to make familiar), from intimus (inmost, innermost, most intimate), superlative of intus (within), from in (in); see interior.


Adjective, noun

  • enPR: ĭn'tĭmət, IPA(key): /ˈɪn.tɪ.mət/
  • (file)



intimate (comparative more intimate, superlative most intimate)

  1. Closely acquainted; familiar.
    an intimate friend
    He and his sister deeply valued their intimate relationship as they didn't have much else to live for.
  2. Of or involved in a sexual relationship.
    She enjoyed some intimate time alone with her husband.
  3. Personal; private.
    an intimate setting
  4. Pertaining to details that require great familiarity to know.
    • 2015, Slawomir Pikula, Joanna Bandorowicz-Pikula, Patrick Groves, “NMR of lipids”, in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, volume 44, Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry, ISSN 0305-9804, page 391:
      Grélard et al.87 determined the intimate structure of pseudoviral particles of hepatitis B subvirus using solid-state NMR, light scattering, and cryo-electron microscopy.



intimate (plural intimates)

  1. A very close friend.
    Only a couple of intimates had ever read his writing.
  2. (in plural intimates) Women's underwear, sleepwear, or lingerie, especially offered for sale in a store.
    You'll find bras and panties in the women's intimates section upstairs.




intimate (third-person singular simple present intimates, present participle intimating, simple past and past participle intimated)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To suggest or disclose (something) discreetly.
    • 1936, Dale Carnegie, “Part 4, Chapter 3. TALK ABOUT YOUR OWN MISTAKES FIRST”, in How to Win Friends and Influence People[1], page 223:
          The Kaiser beamed. Von Bulow had praised him. Von Bulow had exalted him and humbled himself. The Kaiser could forgive anything after that. "Haven't I always told you," he exclaimed with enthusiasm, "that we complete one another famously? We should stick together, and we will!"
          Von Bulow saved himself in time—but, canny diplomat that he was, he nevertheless had made one error: he should have begun by talking about his own shortcomings and Wilhelm's superiority—not by intimating that the Kaiser was a half-wit in need of a guardian.
    He intimated that we should leave before the argument escalated.
  2. (transitive, India) To notify.
    I will intimate you when the details are available.


Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit





  1. present adverbial passive participle of intimi