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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.
    • 2011 October 28, Kevin Underhill, “Shape-Shifting Donkey Prostitute Strikes Again”, in Lowering the Bar[1], archived from the original on 16 December 2022:
      The man, who had been arrested for being intimate with a donkey, admitted the conduct in question but claimed that the donkey had not been a donkey when he met her at a nightclub last Saturday night, but rather a prostitute.
  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, 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.
  5. Very finely mixed.
    Black powder consists of an intimate mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur.

Derived terms[edit]



intimate (plural intimates)

  1. A very close friend.
    Synonyms: bosom buddy, bosom friend, cater-cousin
    Only a couple of intimates had ever read his writing.
  2. (in the plural intimates) Women's underwear, sleepwear, or lingerie, especially offered for sale in a store.
    Synonym: intimate apparel
    You'll find bras and panties in the 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.
    He intimated that we should leave before the argument escalated.
    • 1878, Henry James, An International Episode[2]:
      One of our friends, nevertheless—the younger one—intimated that he felt a disposition to interrupt a few of these soft familiarities; but his companion observed, pertinently enough, that he had better be careful.
    • 1936, Dale Carnegie, “Part 4, Chapter 3. TALK ABOUT YOUR OWN MISTAKES FIRST”, in How to Win Friends and Influence People, 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.
  2. (transitive, India) To notify.
    I will intimate you when the details are available.


Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]





  1. present adverbial passive participle of intimi


Etymology 1[edit]



  1. inflection of intimare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative

Etymology 2[edit]


intimate f pl

  1. feminine plural of intimato





  1. second-person plural present active imperative of intimō




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of intimar combined with te