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[in-tuh-muh-see] /ˈɪn tə mə si/
noun, plural intimacies.
the state of being intimate.
a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.
a close association with or detailed knowledge or deep understanding of a place, subject, period of history, etc.:
an intimacy with Japan.
an act or expression serving as a token of familiarity, affection, or the like:
to allow the intimacy of using first names.
an amorously familiar act; liberty.
sexual intercourse.
the quality of being comfortable, warm, or familiar:
the intimacy of the room.
privacy, especially as suitable to the telling of a secret:
in the intimacy of his studio.
Origin of intimacy
1635-45; intim(ate)1 + -acy
2. closeness, familiarity, warmth, affection. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for intimacy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Between parent and child, the intimacy had been unusually close.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • He advises not to come into the intimacy of great nobles and not to lend them money.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • Having had his warning his tone was friendly, without a hint of the intimacy of the day before.

    The Street of Seven Stars Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • But I was his intimate; and I took care to make the intimacy grow.

    Life On The Mississippi, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • The doctor was really proud of this acquaintance, and to lower people would boast of his intimacy with his friend Sloper.

British Dictionary definitions for intimacy


noun (pl) -cies
close or warm friendship or understanding; personal relationship
(often pl) (euphemistic) sexual relations
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for intimacy

1640s, from intimate + -cy. As a euphemism for "sexual intercourse," from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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