Main definitions of intimate in English

: intimate1intimate2

intimate1

adjective

  • 1Closely acquainted; familiar:

    ‘intimate friends’
    ‘they are on intimate terms’
    • ‘The Heskeths were on intimate terms with Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby, whose country seat was Knowsley Hall (six miles east of Liverpool).’
    • ‘Kahlo, the most notorious of the three, was a member of Mexico's Communist movement, wife of radical leftist painter Diego Rivera, and intimate friend of Leon Trotsky.’
    • ‘He has not convinced me that events would have transpired any differently if Roosevelt and Churchill had been on less intimate terms.’
    • ‘He boasted that he was on intimate terms with several high-ranking police officers.’
    • ‘We have been led to believe that you and she knew each other on intimate terms.’
    • ‘Margot writes Anne that she does not hold a grudge, and that she would not confide in someone unless they were on intimate terms.’
    • ‘The following day an intimate crowd of friends and family gather in the backyard under a small gazebo to watch the pseudo match-up.’
    • ‘He's brought another man with him, and they exchange a few words that suggest that they are on intimate terms.’
    • ‘Argerich is on intimate terms with the composers whose work she performs.’
    • ‘It should have come as no surprise that Berger and Schröder were on intimate terms.’
    • ‘Apart from everything else, I am their intimate friend.’
    • ‘In other words, when you are on fairly intimate terms with your diners, you are expected to compromise your recipes.’
    • ‘Examples include finding yourself wandering by a dual carriageway at 5am, or finding yourself snogging someone with no idea how you got onto intimate terms with them.’
    • ‘If you're on incredibly intimate terms with your flatmates, get them to check for you.’
    • ‘And let your most intimate friends know you'd rather stab yourself in the eye with a fork than vote for the Liberal.’
    • ‘Although Johnson himself was a fervent Tory, it is interesting to note that he was on friendly and intimate terms with several well-known Whigs.’
    • ‘He was the outsider who was on intimate terms with them, communicating through comic mime with expressions and gestures that became a well known code.’
    • ‘Today, I'm told, the people of Basra whisper and mumble about the intifada, but only among family members at home or in tearooms with their most intimate friends.’
    • ‘Then Cady has to make intimate friends - leapfrogging rank and precedence with miraculous speed - with the villainesses of the piece.’
    • ‘Even his intimate friends in the literary circuit dread the occasional outbursts which reflect his cynical humour and contempt for hypocrites.’
    close, bosom, boon, dear, cherished, familiar, confidential, faithful, constant, devoted, fast, firm, favourite, special
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a place or setting) having a cosy and private or relaxed atmosphere:
      ‘an intimate little Italian restaurant’
      • ‘The 60-seat theatre space offers an intimate setting between the actors and the audience.’
      • ‘But the pretty singer has planned that her Dublin debut should take place in front of her own fans in a more intimate setting…’
      • ‘This small restaurant is hidden away in the bowels of the place, and has a cosy, intimate atmosphere more akin to a city-centre restaurant than a golf club.’
      • ‘If that crowd has a more intimate place to go where they'll know a lot of the people, they'll like that better.’
      • ‘There are some economic advantages to small, intimate places that function informally.’
      • ‘Its 2500 square feet of accommodation is cleverly spread over five levels, with the result that this is a large house which has retained a cosy, intimate atmosphere.’
      • ‘The ‘open mike’ idea gives an opportunity to singers and musicians of every style to come up and perform in a relaxed, intimate setting.’
      • ‘When he's not traveling, which he does frequently, Henry can be found hanging out in the studio where the warm and intimate setting is enhanced with the sounds of jazz.’
      • ‘He did not like using computers, but one wonders if the many fine blogs that make faraway and foreign spaces into intimate places for us would have changed his mind about technology.’
      • ‘It's an intimate place, a private place, but we invited the audience to watch us work.’
      • ‘Best of all, the more intimate settings of regionals provide ample opportunity to meet colleagues and network.’
      • ‘This culinary hotel combines international style and luxury with welcoming hospitality and personal attention in a warm, intimate atmosphere.’
      • ‘Stepping up from the smoky, buzzing pub that it sits atop, my friend Linda and I were immediately enveloped into a cosy, intimate space painted a deep royal blue and set off by the warm glow of mood lighting.’
      • ‘It's a warm, intimate place with only seven tables, but the food is as good as anything you'll find in bigger city establishments.’
      • ‘The original features, with elegant coving and panelling can be found throughout the hotel, but especially in the dining room, they create a warm, intimate atmosphere.’
      • ‘All ten members of the team had to hot-foot it round the corner to Studio 7, a cosy, intimate place but not our friend S6.’
      • ‘A night with this Birr native in the intimate setting of Moon River, where there is room for only 90, will be a very special evening's entertainment.’
      • ‘Although I am a fan of the mainstage at the Bard on the Beach, the intimate setting of the stage was perfect for the staging of Macbeth.’
      • ‘It's a lovely intimate place and to me, the big theatres are a thing of the past and this is the future.’
      • ‘The intimate setting, the interactive, spontaneous nature of the show and the versatility of the talent make for a fun and unique evening.’
      friendly, warm, welcoming, hospitable, harmonious, relaxed, informal, easy
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Involving very close connection:
      ‘their intimate involvement with their community’
      • ‘‘This more intimate connection with my students allows my attention to be completely focused on them,’ said Clint.’
      • ‘They have intimate connections with the corporate world, access to the opinions of hordes of market analysts, and are paid handsomely to manage our savings.’
      • ‘In doing so, he reveals the intimate connection between liberal narratives of race and the discourse of American exceptionalism.’
      • ‘The violence perpetrated by the police and state-run institutions has an intimate connection with the drug trade itself.’
      • ‘These traditions allow us to see an intimate connection between scientific inquiry and beauty.’
      • ‘Most importantly, we'll be able to enhance our biological intelligence with non-biological intelligence through intimate connections.’
      • ‘There is a more intimate connection between substance involvement and crime than merely that the same permanent personality traits predict both.’
      • ‘In helping with challenging campers, the nursing staff can address the intimate mind/body connection of the camper.’
      • ‘Both men had an intimate connection to that lovely picture.’
      • ‘That in itself might seem extraordinary, considering the intimate connection between Dutch and Scottish painting, and the fact that the artist painted 3,000 pictures.’
      • ‘In light of the intimate connection between this idea and the ideas which form the corps of fundamentalist Islam, we may find that we are fighting it as well.’
      • ‘But in return, the occupants get an incomparably intimate connection to the rhythms of the river.’
      • ‘The two main whines were about the danger to civilians and the slowness of the operation, but there was very little intelligent discussion of the intimate connection between these two.’
      • ‘But his claiming to have no reason is a different matter for, as language suggests and as we shall see, there is an intimate connection between reason and rationality.’
      • ‘The beneficiaries of this fire sale will be transnational companies and China's wealthy elite, who have intimate connections to the political leadership.’
      • ‘Though the new Supreme Court would presumably include the present law lords, it would lose its intimate connection with the legislature.’
      • ‘They have intimate connections with banks in all kinds of daily ways.’
      • ‘Implicit in this exchange is the intimate connection of race with nationality that is inextricable from the history of the evolving concept of race.’
      • ‘There is an intimate connection between the methods employed by terrorist organizations and the nationalist or religio-communalist politics upon which they are based.’
      • ‘As an extension of this plan, the family would launch needless wars, thus allowing it to amass a huge fortune through its intimate connection with the military-industrial complex.’
    3. 1.3 (of knowledge) detailed or thorough:
      ‘an intimate knowledge of the software’
      • ‘Within every masochist lies the deep seated and intimate knowledge of the sadist - and vice versa.’
      • ‘A particular generation may see itself progressing but the next generation may not have any intimate knowledge of that kind of crisis, that conversion experience, that new vision.’
      • ‘Obviously, the curator of an owning museum will have intimate knowledge of their collection and would not lightly make such a decision.’
      • ‘Certainly it is very common for wives to have intimate knowledge of the work memo stylings of their husbands and can vouch for their reliability 30 years after the fact.’
      • ‘There, he was to spend 22 years as a fitter of escalators, a job which he knew inside out and excelled at through his intimate knowledge of the business.’
      • ‘But given, as we know, that these things can take all sorts of twists and turns, I think any chairman of the authority would want his or her clerk well out of intimate knowledge of these matters.’
      • ‘For instance, history and intimate knowledge of a society are way outside the scope of his economic vision, even though they must feed the model in an utterly essential way.’
      • ‘Even there, Adam created a trio of sisters whose emotional interplay betrays an intimate knowledge of twisted sibling diplomacy.’
      • ‘A more critically-minded minister of health services armed with more intimate knowledge of the subject might be more hesitant about making such broad changes.’
      • ‘People know where they live at a level of intimate knowledge that no professional can compete with.’
      • ‘We conclude that it is still possible that our current understanding of planetary systems is unduly coloured by our intimate knowledge of our own solar system.’
      • ‘Their intimate knowledge of plants, birds and other creatures of the tropical jungle could help advances in medical sciences.’
      • ‘A craftsman must be master of his tools, and mastery is impossible without intimate knowledge.’
      • ‘And the locals had intimate knowledge of the trails.’
      • ‘Let me ask you this, because you do have experience, intimate knowledge of the country, its people.’
      • ‘Proper end-of-life care requires an intimate knowledge of the dying patient and experience with a wide range of treatment modalities.’
      • ‘To go not the fastest against the clock, but most efficiently with the powers one has, which includes an intimate knowledge of and a healthy respect for one's own limits.’
      • ‘Steve possesses deep, intimate knowledge of both Churchill and Reagan, having written books on each, though he deploys his learning lightly.’
      • ‘I doubt whether any senior members of the opposition, either, have enough intimate knowledge of Asian societies and customs to be effective.’
      • ‘The wily, galvanising 66-year-old, has an intimate knowledge of football's cul-de-sacs.’
      detailed, thorough, exhaustive, deep, in-depth, profound
      View synonyms
  • 2Private and personal:

    ‘going into intimate details of his sexual encounters’
    • ‘After all, designing our living space is a way of ordering the most personal, intimate details of our day-to-day existence.’
    • ‘Just remember that you do not - in fact, should not - share all the intimate details of your private life with them.’
    • ‘With perfect anonymity, I paged through the most intimate details of other people's lives.’
    • ‘Many writers use the intimate detail of their personal experience to provide the material for their songs.’
    • ‘Because you don't really want complete strangers overhearing the most intimate details of your personal hygiene routine, do you?’
    • ‘Their interrogation was demeaning and humiliating, probing the most intimate details of my personal and family life.’
    • ‘At a time when public figures and celebrities are revealing intimate details about their personalities and home life, the press reflects our confessional culture.’
    • ‘In still fewer cases will the ads disclose some of the most private, intimate details of our personal feelings and sexual histories.’
    • ‘Why does the government care so much about the twists and turns of people's private, intimate lives?’
    • ‘Freud, the man who spent his life investigating the kind of intimate secrets which people strive to conceal from themselves as well as from others, was extremely reluctant to reveal his own.’
    • ‘How can he possibly cringe at the intimate details of people's lives?’
    • ‘When people share intimate details of their lives with a virtual stranger, it affirms that an implicit context of trust has been established.’
    • ‘Never once did I exploit the intimate details of my personal life.’
    • ‘Children are also increasingly joining the trend of writing online diaries, or ‘blogs’, which often contain intimate personal details.’
    • ‘Secretly filming people in intimate situations without their consent should see voyeurs jailed for up to three years, the Law Commission recommends in a report released today.’
    • ‘They thought I was going to tell intimate, personal details about her life.’
    • ‘But the lesbian scene can feel crushingly claustrophobic, with people knowing the intimate details of your life before they've even met you.’
    • ‘Banking is a private, intimate activity and most people want to do it with someone they know, rather than a different person every week.’
    • ‘I'm afraid that too many reviewers are disappointed when a memoir is not a dishy tell-all, serving up personal, intimate details.’
    • ‘Although she refuses to discuss intimate details of her personal life, her music itself is autobiographical.’
    personal, private, confidential, secret
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1euphemistic [predicative] Having a sexual relationship:
      ‘he was sickened by the thought of others having been intimate with her’
      • ‘We have not been intimate with one another, so sex too early in the relationship wasn't the ruining factor.’
      • ‘She stalked us to no end with claims that she had herpes, that she had been intimate with Kenny, and that we all needed to seek medical attention.’
      • ‘When taking your medical history, does your doctor ask questions like: Are you intimate with men?’
      • ‘Two questions - how did you come to find out that he'd been intimate with other women?’
      • ‘I felt I'd found the perfect person for me and thought he felt the same… until recently, when he told me of his desire for me to be intimate with another man and him.’
      • ‘I suppose the one reason why I am so anxious to make a decision is because the next person I want to be intimate with has to care about me more than I care about them.’
      • ‘I've dated one girl four times but have not have not been intimate with anyone.’
      • ‘There are, in fact, many choices that lead to the ultimate choice to be sexually intimate with someone outside your partnership.’
      • ‘Yes, I think women are very beautiful, and I love being friends with women and being intimate with women.’
      • ‘When you become sexually intimate with a man in order to boost your self-esteem, you're opting for a quick fix of attention.’
      • ‘All of this goes into being intimate with someone.’
      • ‘Dating lets you get intimate with someone without the commitment, contributing to broken hearts.’
      • ‘Invite him to ask you questions, and let him know of your desire to be sexually intimate with him once precautions are taken.’
      • ‘About a year ago I really started to miss being sexually intimate with a man.’
      • ‘Even though she was sexually intimate with Tony, Sharon sees Tony's silence on his HIV status as stoic rather than a breach of trust.’
      • ‘He called me up a few days ago, however, to confess he got drunk, picked up a woman in a bar, took her home, and was intimate with her.’
      • ‘We were intimate with each other, and the love was definitely there.’
      sexual, carnal, amorous, amatory, romantic
      View synonyms

noun

  • A very close friend:

    ‘his circle of intimates’
    • ‘This finding is understandable given that, in Asian culture, people tend to seek help from intimates, including friends and family, rather than a stranger, such as a counselor.’
    • ‘In all but a few of the Canadian true-crime stories, the sins of pride, envy, anger, greed and lust led to the murders of people who had known each other, either as friends, intimates or rivals.’
    • ‘These are just your people, your family, these are your closest intimates, the ones you have the most fun with and relate to on the most comfortable, silly level.’
    • ‘This latter finding is particularly telling as trust in friends and intimates does act as a stress buffer for street kids.’
    • ‘I was always Alfred and my intimates knew me so, until a Scottish aunt much later insisted on adding the Scottish form of Alistair.’
    • ‘Usually these prayers, whether in worship or personal devotions, include petitions for four overlapping groups of people: intimates and friends, public authorities, enemies and the needy.’
    • ‘We were intimates, friends who could share our deepest fears, loves and hopes.’
    • ‘She is increasingly agitated and anxious over her medical condition, keeping it secret from all but her closest intimates.’
    • ‘In 1948-49 they were ordered to write up everything learnt about Adolf Hitler through interrogations of his captured intimates.’
    • ‘Well, I was one of his friends, but I wasn't one of his real intimates.’
    • ‘Humour is said to loosen boundaries between strangers and strengthen bonds between friends and intimates.’
    • ‘His reliance on a small circle of trusted intimates, most marked after 1471, has an Arthurian ring to it; and his knights were collectively as reliable and loyal as Arthur's fabled round-tablers.’
    • ‘Her pro-euthanasia friends and intimates were secure in their moral knowledge and capacities when she took her fatal dose.’
    • ‘And though it strewed the stage with disaster and disgrace, nevertheless, not even their closest intimates could presume to reproach them.’
    • ‘The fellow with the cell phone, ironically named Virgil, chats obsessively on it with a number of intimates, including his former girlfriend Alice.’
    • ‘The same study investigates the question whether executions deter crimes of passion and murders by intimates.’
    • ‘The task becomes all the more difficult when they often do not even trust their friends and intimates.’
    • ‘But they reflect a common but treacherous error: that thoughts appropriate to reveal to friends and intimates are also appropriate to reveal to the world.’
    • ‘His few intimates found him a warm friend, and he was a loving, even playful husband to two successive wives, both daughters of Presbyterian ministers who were college presidents.’
    • ‘Finally, although we expect that street kids will not trust authority figures, one might assume that they will trust their friends and intimates, the social network that is part of their life on the street.’
    close friend, best friend, bosom friend, constant companion, alter ego, confidant, confidante, close associate
    chum, pal, buddy, crony, sidekick, cully, spar, main man
    mate, mucker, china, oppo, butty, bezzie
    marrow, marrer, marra
    homeboy, homegirl
    gabba
    offsider
    fidus achates
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century (as a noun): from late Latin intimatus, past participle of Latin intimare impress, make familiar, from intimus inmost.

Pronunciation:

intimate

/ˈɪntɪmət/

Main definitions of intimate in English

: intimate1intimate2

intimate2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 State or make known:

    ‘Mr Hutchison has intimated his decision to retire’
    • ‘I intimated something like this to my tutor, perhaps without so much detail, and she suggested that maybe a reliance on qualitative data could well be more suited to my research focus.’
    • ‘However, it must be remembered that similar sentiments have often been intimated by other observers.’
    • ‘It was a male voice, but it must have been someone from her office, or what ever celebrities have, because I get another nasty e-mail intimating legal action.’
    • ‘This is an auteur who works from deep within herself to establish a mood, adumbrate a design, build a tempo, and intimate an idea.’
    • ‘It intimated emancipation, a freeing of the mind.’
    • ‘Together they prompted riots at the screenings of their work, with gruesome and incendiary images that intimated the moral bankruptcy of bourgeois values and institutions.’
    • ‘There beginning in the sixth paragraph an answer was intimated.’
    • ‘I intimate these things to Ed, my mailman, who nods politely.’
    • ‘Woodward intimated last month that he would prefer new faces on the board rather than launch a bid for the company.’
    • ‘Well, I think they were - they - they intimated a great deal, but they were never as blatant as the press is today.’
    • ‘My delayed reaction intimated a need for clarification.’
    • ‘Lane intimated the donations were disclosed in the annual report, however finding the exact reference in the 110 pages has eluded your correspondent.’
    • ‘The handclaps that begin the song intimate a playfulness throughout, and a funky guitar and fuzzy keys sew together seemingly independent jams.’
    • ‘He moved to live in Australia, he said to ease the pain of arthritis, although some intimated it was to escape the gaze of Her Majesty's Inspector Of Taxes.’
    • ‘Now, as we intimated a week ago, the thought that he might depart to run the Victoria and Albert Museum fills the chattering classes with horror.’
    • ‘This bird of night portends misplaced anger and hasty decisions, and intimates an imminent death.’
    • ‘The Indian Paralympic Committee, which has intimated his selection, has stated that being a voluntary organisation, it was not in a position to extend any financial help.’
    • ‘Arnold believed that the spirit of the age intimates equality.’
    • ‘Here Maury's chronometrical sea science intimates the degree to which the chronometer had come, in the Victorian age, to embody nothing less than rationality itself.’
    • ‘I haven't got a clue either, and it isn't the first time, as intimated by my use of this unique morsel for the title of what you are now reading.’
    announce, state, proclaim, set forth, make known, make public, make plain, impart, disclose, reveal, divulge
    imply, suggest, hint at, insinuate, indicate, signal, allude to, refer to, communicate, convey
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with clause] Imply or hint:
      ‘he had already intimated that he might not be able to continue’
      • ‘The transfer window just passed saw comments in the press from Kelly intimating that he wanted to move on should he fail to nail a first-team slot.’
      • ‘He intimates that the buyers of such tat should surely not be labelled ‘tasteless buffoons,’ and I agree the second of those words is a bit strong.’
      • ‘The ending monologue intimates that he's not above selling your services to the highest bidder, but it was the phrase ‘illusion of free will’ that caught my ear.’
      • ‘He was intimating that some type of review was going on, but no decisions had been made.’
      • ‘Grumpily, he backed down, though not without intimating that he would indeed take up the matter with People of Influence whom he knew.’
      • ‘‘Selecting himself for the national team has intimated that,’ he suggested.’
      • ‘Others, a minority, posed as misplaced geniuses, intimating that teaching us was way beneath them and was only done for reasons of need.’
      • ‘I leaned against her doorframe, swinging the book in my hand, saying good night several times until I was absolutely sure she wasn't intimating that I stay a little longer.’
      • ‘She intimates that it would have been on her list of demands for years had she imagined such a thing to exist.’
      • ‘Thanks for intimating that you and she had some kind of thing going on as a result of which she had to make a choice.’
      • ‘Putting the straw man arguments aside for one moment, are you intimating that other ethnic minorities have not cost the U.S. money in ‘social programs’?’
      • ‘He has implied it, insinuated it, hinted it, and intimated it, but he has not suggested it.’
      • ‘I understand that five NCL teams have already intimated that they would like to join the summer-based league.’
      • ‘Wilson intimates that something has died in the black community and this death represents that loss.’
      • ‘He intimates that he has a long-term lover and that he is within the ‘great happiness narrative’ of the loving twosome.’
      • ‘He hasn't said outright that he is in favour of CDL but he intimates that he is.’
      • ‘Recently, having celebrated the fifth anniversary of her inauguration, she intimated that, yes, she was interested in running for a second seven-year term.’
      • ‘The man bullies fragile-looking Dave into the car, intimating that he's going to drive down a couple of blocks to rat the boy out to his mother.’
      • ‘Recently a paragraph appeared in the paper columns intimating that the curious object on the hillside was ‘casting its coat,’ as it was in need of a whitewash.’
      • ‘When he intimates that medical marvels will quickly follow his termination of a nonexistent ‘ban’ on stem-cell research, his dishonesty exceeds even his philistinism.’

Origin

Early 16th century: (earlier ( late Middle English) as intimation) from late Latin intimat- made known, from the verb intimare (see intimate).

Pronunciation:

intimate

/ˈɪntɪmət/