Definition of personal in US English:

personal

adjective

  • 1Of, affecting, or belonging to a particular person rather than to anyone else.

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

    ‘the book describes his acting career and gives little information about his personal life’
    • ‘This is a period of personal identity, intimate relationships and emancipation.’
    • ‘He is much less certain and dogmatic talking about emotions and personal relationships.’
    • ‘A personal relationship with Jesus involves mind, emotions, spirit and body.’
    • ‘Another is that the ban reduces our personal freedom and sanitises public spaces, treating us rather like children.’
    • ‘He's interested in the dynamics of very intimate personal relationships.’
    • ‘Then, when it comes time to have a personal relationship with your Creator, you would rather not.’
    • ‘Emotions express the intimate personal measuring of what is happening in our social lives.’
    • ‘His point of view was to present a character study in a series of private and personal relationships.’
    • ‘It may well be that he was concerned about his personal exposure to liability in relation to the real estate conveyance.’
    • ‘Do convictions rather than practical and personal concerns dictate your decisions?’
    • ‘He specialises in personal forecasts, career and relationship issues.’
    • ‘Getting the facts straight rather than using personal emotions is a good first step.’
    • ‘We have developed a very close, personal relationship, a relationship of trust.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The relationship between a political figure's personal life and his public career is a tricky one.’
    • ‘Their argument is that nothing is too personal or private for public discourse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Love and romance in personal relationships lead to special bonding and intimacy today.’
    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, especially in a hostile or critical way.
      ‘his personal remarks about Mr. Mellor's work ethic were unprofessional’
      ‘you look like a drowned rat—nothing personal’
      • ‘The only problem is if we go from the deeply offensive and personal to the deeply offensive and general.’
      • ‘The personal remarks were coming think and as fast as those concerning my stature and physic.’
      • ‘It is certainly typical of the threats and personal attacks which now characterise the three-way bid battle.’
      • ‘In her taste, her cultural and political awareness, even her personal appearance, she seems like a product of the Rive Gauche.’
      • ‘Some lowly wonk writes a few personal remarks to go in at the top and you're laughing.’
      • ‘I suggest that it is time you made a ruling on that, and said that those sorts of personal insinuations are inappropriate.’
      • ‘He decided to get very personal and to refer to my own marriage.’
      • ‘I believe that we will be judged on this record and not by unkind and unjustified personal remarks in the press.’
      • ‘He heard her say each name, accompanied by a more personal remark for each.’
      • ‘I just want to make a remark of a more personal nature about my work.’
      • ‘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?’
      derogatory, disparaging, belittling, insulting, critical, rude, slighting, disrespectful, offensive, pejorative
      View synonyms
  • 3Relating to a person's body.

    ‘personal hygiene’
    • ‘I'm assuming that smelling like sea creatures is a good thing and not a comment on my personal hygiene.’
    • ‘On some Tory blog's comment section this is a cue for speculating about personal hygiene of and body hair on greenies.’
    • ‘I have neglected personal hygiene or household chores until I have finished a novel.’
    • ‘He also digs sharing information about his personal body art that you'd probably rather not know.’
    • ‘I assure you, my personal hygiene is of the highest standard.’
    • ‘He was at his friend's house getting high when he noticed the grubby living conditions and lack of personal hygiene.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Safe and hygienic food handling procedures and facets pertaining to personal hygiene were also discussed.’
    • ‘These cults are a group of jobless people who are more interested in their facial hair than their personal hygiene.’
    • ‘In an honor culture, a personal attack on the body could be countered only by an attack in kind.’
    • ‘A certain lack of personal hygiene pervades the carriage, and then yes, you guessed it, three of 'em decide my table is fair game.’
    • ‘People pay more attention to personal hygiene and quit bad habits.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 had meals in there and my personal hygiene was extremely poor.’
    • ‘The care will cover all personal hygiene, dressing, assistance with eating and preparing food and help with mobility.’
    • ‘The educated elite is conscious about their personal hygiene and health.’
    • ‘If you are seriously concerned about these children, then do the right thing and improve their diet and personal hygiene habits.’
    • ‘It is now up to you to ask your doctors whether they are practicing even the most basic acts of 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.’
  • 4Grammar
    Of or denoting one of the three persons.

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

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

noun

North American
  • 1An advertisement or message in the personal column of a newspaper; personal ad.

    • ‘Jacob, a 30-something guy advertised in a personals magazine and thought he had found his partner.’
    • ‘Because of an incorrect personals advertisement, a Shanghai man identified as Ying recently had a difficult time with his wife.’
    • ‘The two businesses still attract more total visitors, thanks to their broad offerings of games, music, personals, and much more.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Like personals listings, the exchanges are primarily information services, linking suppliers with buyers.’
    • ‘I am now back in the market, and I've posted a new personals ad.’
    • ‘My idea is to create an online community for Dublin where locals can connect with one another via classifieds, forums, personals etc.’
    • ‘OK, so we don't truly shop for handheld devices through the personals.’
    • ‘I was thinking about taking out an ad in the personals.’
    • ‘So the only option I have seems to be online personals.’
    • ‘They found each other through a personals advertisement Ehud placed in an Indian newspaper.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They might not have been expecting a review so much as the more traditional coded message in the personals section of the Seattle Times.’
    • ‘Further legitimation for this reading could be seen in Jim's response to Roberta's advertisement to Susan in the personals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Or if you were going to advertise in a newspaper, do it in the personals section.’
    1. 1.1personals
      another term for personal column

Origin

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

Pronunciation

personal

/ˈpərs(ə)n(ə)l//ˈpərs(ə)n(ə)l/