Definition of personal in English:

personal

adjective

  • 1attributive Belonging to or affecting a particular person rather than anyone else.

    ‘her personal fortune was recently estimated at £37 million’
    • ‘I believe it is more important to be a good mentor than it is to preserve my personal body of work.’
    • ‘But I decided not to be embarrassed by my illness and to record my experiences on a personal website, for anyone to read.’
    • ‘In it were all of her personal letters, her journal, and a few treasured childhood trinkets.’
    • ‘Unless one's size is affecting one's personal health then one should be comfortable being who they are.’
    • ‘You'll use my body as your personal jungle gym, always crawling back over me if you go anywhere in the room.’
    • ‘The room was empty and had no personal items belonging to the presumed occupants.’
    • ‘One appears to be on the personal website of a creative writing student at Macquarie University.’
    • ‘He is working the streets as hard as anyone, buoyed by a huge personal fortune.’
    • ‘For 200 years prior to this, the garden relied on personal book collections belonging to the various keepers of the garden.’
    • ‘I like to write about my life, but I think that belongs in my personal journal.’
    • ‘He always placed a sanitary towel under their left armpit and also removed personal items from their bodies.’
    • ‘However, if the firm went bust, the directors would be forced to liquidate their personal assets to pay creditors.’
    • ‘He had his wallet and personal possessions on his body, so there was no reason to suspect any robbery.’
    • ‘This is a fine anthology that would be a welcome addition to anyone's personal library.’
    • ‘People whose personal health may be affected have often been held by the courts to have no standing to make a case.’
    • ‘You might even be forced to liquidate personal assets to pay off creditors.’
    • ‘Inside laid a treasure trove of personal effects belonging to Earl Sandstrum.’
    distinctive, characteristic, unique, individual, one's own, particular, private, peculiar, exclusive, idiosyncratic, individualized, personalized
    direct, empirical, first-hand, immediate, experiential
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    1. 1.1 Done or made by a particular person; involving the actual presence or action of a particular individual.
      ‘the President and his wife made personal appearances for the re-election of the state governor’
      • ‘Both our days are outrageously improved by actual personal contact.’
      • ‘Christopher said the letter expressed his personal opinion and not that of the party.’
      • ‘It is God's personal presence that restores Job's confidence in divine order.’
      • ‘You could also simply make a donation or bring some Christmas cheer by sending a child a personal letter from Father Christmas.’
      • ‘The second benefit is that a blog can give your practice a voice and a personal presence.’
      • ‘I write this in the form of a personal letter from me to you, if for no other reason than to blunder and blur genres further.’
      • ‘Ingram was presenting his personal opinion which he submitted in a letter to The Peak.’
      • ‘So, we went back to the office and wrote my personal letter of the events, and took it to the police station after their break.’
      • ‘All she did was read out a personal letter written by Dan in which he denied involvement.’
      • ‘It does not necessarily, I think, involve the personal presence of the person claiming to occupy.’
      • ‘In a personal letter to voters, the Tory leader has asked them to send application forms to a national party centre in Dartford, Kent.’
      • ‘And each of them sent me a personal letter with drawings and wishes to a fast recovery.’
      • ‘Some of the more threatening and personal letters were passed on to police.’
      • ‘The book includes actual postcards carrying personal messages as well as popular songs and poetry of the time.’
      • ‘It took a personal letter from President Lyndon Johnson in late December to win their release.’
      • ‘The position requires a high degree of personal presence, creativity and imagination.’
      • ‘It's not my personal presence here that will bring the disease under control, but bearing down on the disease to eliminate it.’
      • ‘Each individual will receive a personal letter of apology, acknowledging the harm caused by the process.’
      • ‘Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke of his distress and the Prince of Wales wrote personal letters of condolence to both families.’
      • ‘He stashed away hundreds of Diana-related items, from signed CDs to personal letters to photographs.’
      in person, in the flesh, actual, live, physical
      individual, particular, special, in person
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  • 2Of or concerning one's private life, relationships, and emotions rather than one's career or public life.

    ‘the book describes his sporting career and gives little information about his personal life’
    • ‘Do convictions rather than practical and personal concerns dictate your decisions?’
    • ‘It may well be that he was concerned about his personal exposure to liability in relation to the real estate conveyance.’
    • ‘He is much less certain and dogmatic talking about emotions and personal relationships.’
    • ‘Getting the facts straight rather than using personal emotions is a good first step.’
    • ‘He specialises in personal forecasts, career and relationship issues.’
    • ‘The relationship between a political figure's personal life and his public career is a tricky one.’
    • ‘We have developed a very close, personal relationship, a relationship of trust.’
    • ‘On one hand, surveys show that privacy and security of personal information are key public concerns.’
    • ‘She took me on a tour of the Institute and spoke about the positive impact working there has had on her both from a career and personal point of view.’
    • ‘Then, when it comes time to have a personal relationship with your Creator, you would rather not.’
    • ‘Their argument is that nothing is too personal or private for public discourse.’
    • ‘His point of view was to present a character study in a series of private and personal relationships.’
    • ‘Another is that the ban reduces our personal freedom and sanitises public spaces, treating us rather like children.’
    • ‘This is a period of personal identity, intimate relationships and emancipation.’
    • ‘He's interested in the dynamics of very intimate personal relationships.’
    • ‘Emotions express the intimate personal measuring of what is happening in our social lives.’
    • ‘Love and romance in personal relationships lead to special bonding and intimacy today.’
    • ‘A personal relationship with Jesus involves mind, emotions, spirit and body.’
    • ‘The relationship you build can be a bit more personal throughout your whole career.’
    • ‘The spectrum has ranged from aggressive public demonstrations to intimate personal explorations.’
    private, confidential, one's own business, intimate, secret
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    1. 2.1 Referring to an individual's character, appearance, or private life in an inappropriate or offensive way.
      ‘he had the cheek to make personal remarks’
      • ‘The only problem is if we go from the deeply offensive and personal to the deeply offensive and general.’
      • ‘He heard her say each name, accompanied by a more personal remark for each.’
      • ‘It is certainly typical of the threats and personal attacks which now characterise the three-way bid battle.’
      • ‘Don't you take any notice, girl, I say, when people make uncalled-for personal remarks.’
      • ‘It's very rude to relay personal remarks, but I've made a career out of it - so why stop now?’
      • ‘In her taste, her cultural and political awareness, even her personal appearance, she seems like a product of the Rive Gauche.’
      • ‘I suggest that it is time you made a ruling on that, and said that those sorts of personal insinuations are inappropriate.’
      • ‘I believe that we will be judged on this record and not by unkind and unjustified personal remarks in the press.’
      • ‘He decided to get very personal and to refer to my own marriage.’
      • ‘Some lowly wonk writes a few personal remarks to go in at the top and you're laughing.’
      • ‘The personal remarks were coming think and as fast as those concerning my stature and physic.’
      • ‘I just want to make a remark of a more personal nature about my work.’
      derogatory, disparaging, belittling, insulting, critical, rude, slighting, disrespectful, offensive, pejorative
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  • 3Relating to a person's body.

    ‘personal hygiene’
    • ‘I put it down to the fact that as he's Italian the encroaching of personal body space was just something that came with the territory.’
    • ‘The care will cover all personal hygiene, dressing, assistance with eating and preparing food and help with mobility.’
    • ‘As a youngster he has overcome racism and through his life there have been enough personal body blows to ensure that he appreciates the good in his world.’
    • ‘I have neglected personal hygiene or household chores until I have finished a novel.’
    • ‘I'm assuming that smelling like sea creatures is a good thing and not a comment on my personal hygiene.’
    • ‘I never managed to ask or find out why: perhaps it was nerves, or maybe personal hygiene wasn't quite so extreme in those days.’
    • ‘I am not talking about the A-Z of sex, but something to do with personal hygiene, or maybe just to fund some other college course.’
    • ‘It is now up to you to ask your doctors whether they are practicing even the most basic acts of personal hygiene.’
    • ‘People pay more attention to personal hygiene and quit bad habits.’
    • ‘In an honor culture, a personal attack on the body could be countered only by an attack in kind.’
    • ‘I had meals in there and my personal hygiene was extremely poor.’
    • ‘He also digs sharing information about his personal body art that you'd probably rather not know.’
    • ‘These cults are a group of jobless people who are more interested in their facial hair than their personal hygiene.’
    • ‘Safe and hygienic food handling procedures and facets pertaining to personal hygiene were also discussed.’
    • ‘On some Tory blog's comment section this is a cue for speculating about personal hygiene of and body hair on greenies.’
    • ‘I assure you, my personal hygiene is of the highest standard.’
    • ‘A certain lack of personal hygiene pervades the carriage, and then yes, you guessed it, three of 'em decide my table is fair game.’
    • ‘If you are seriously concerned about these children, then do the right thing and improve their diet and personal hygiene habits.’
    • ‘He was at his friend's house getting high when he noticed the grubby living conditions and lack of personal hygiene.’
    • ‘The educated elite is conscious about their personal hygiene and health.’
  • 4Grammar
    Of or denoting one of the three persons.

    See person (sense 2)
    • ‘Yes, that's why I used the personal pronoun - stating a personal opinion.’
    • ‘If a personal noun was necessary to make sense of running conversation, I added the name.’
  • 5Theology
    Existing as a self-aware entity, not as an abstraction or an impersonal force.

    ‘he rejected the notion of a personal God’
    • ‘It also kept the idea of evil as a devilish personal force prowling around ready to get into you.’
    • ‘We must, then, somehow think of God as both personal and impersonal, and in one sense, it would seem, this presents no difficulty.’
    • ‘I was also able to make contact with spiritual entities personal to me, even explore some past life stuff a bit.’
    • ‘We are governed by a personal living God and he has decreed the means by which we accomplish his purposes.’
    • ‘A true Christian is a person who has come into living fellowship and communion with the Lord Jesus as a personal Saviour.’
    • ‘Goethe's Faust reminds us forever that the devil is personal, not impersonal.’

noun

usually personals
North American
  • An advertisement or message in the personal column of a newspaper.

    • ‘Another way to find good dating sites, is by asking friends and co-workers who may have tried, or are using online dating or personals services.’
    • ‘I have tried the dating personals on the web and I have met a few people - most have rejected me, and others were handicapped in some way.’
    • ‘Newspapers, used to fielding personals, are finding their business diminished by online dating services.’
    • ‘The following is a typical advert from the personals column of the London Review of Books.’
    • ‘I am now back in the market, and I've posted a new personals ad.’
    • ‘Like personals listings, the exchanges are primarily information services, linking suppliers with buyers.’
    • ‘They found each other through a personals advertisement Ehud placed in an Indian newspaper.’
    • ‘OK, so we don't truly shop for handheld devices through the personals.’
    • ‘So the only option I have seems to be online personals.’
    • ‘Further legitimation for this reading could be seen in Jim's response to Roberta's advertisement to Susan in the personals.’
    • ‘They might not have been expecting a review so much as the more traditional coded message in the personals section of the Seattle Times.’
    • ‘You know the drill: we look for the creepiest, sleaziest ads in the Leader newspaper personals and you kiddies get to vote for the worst one.’
    • ‘Or if you were going to advertise in a newspaper, do it in the personals section.’
    • ‘If the client acquired them independently through the personals, they can post on the various online message boards about their experience.’
    • ‘It's not because he met me, he assures me, but because of the ‘stigma’ attached to Internet personals.’
    • ‘The two businesses still attract more total visitors, thanks to their broad offerings of games, music, personals, and much more.’
    • ‘Because of an incorrect personals advertisement, a Shanghai man identified as Ying recently had a difficult time with his wife.’
    • ‘Jacob, a 30-something guy advertised in a personals magazine and thought he had found his partner.’
    • ‘My idea is to create an online community for Dublin where locals can connect with one another via classifieds, forums, personals etc.’
    • ‘I was thinking about taking out an ad in the personals.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin personalis ‘of a person’, from persona (see person).

Pronunciation

personal

/ˈpəːs(ə)n(ə)l/