verb (used with object), in·ti·mat·ed, in·ti·mat·ing.

to indicate or make known indirectly; hint; imply; suggest.
Archaic. to make known; announce.

Origin of intimate

1530–40; < Late Latin intimātus, past participle of intimāre to impress (upon), make known, equivalent to intim(us) inmost (see intima) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsin·ti·mat·er, nounin·ti·ma·tion, nounpre·in·ti·ma·tion, nounqua·si-in·ti·mat·ed, adjectiveun·in·ti·mat·ed, adjective
Can be confusedintimate intimidate

Synonyms for intimate

1. See hint. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intimated

Contemporary Examples of intimated

Historical Examples of intimated

  • The city-pent, as we have intimated, must take this season largely on faith.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Mr Verloc intimated in a throaty, veiled murmur that he was no longer young.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • Lady Augusta intimated stiffly that she had not the honour of the baronet's acquaintance.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • He was, as I have intimated, a person of lofty demeanour, with a vein of high seriousness.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • As much was intimated by several observant townspeople who passed him.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for intimated




characterized by a close or warm personal relationshipan intimate friend
deeply personal, private, or secret
(often postpositive foll by with) euphemistic having sexual relations (with)
  1. (postpositive foll by with)having a deep or unusual knowledge (of)
  2. (of knowledge) deep; extensive
having a friendly, warm, or informal atmospherean intimate nightclub
of or relating to the essential part or nature of something; intrinsic
denoting the informal second person of verbs and pronouns in French and other languages


a close friend
Derived Formsintimately, adverbintimateness, noun

Word Origin for intimate

C17: from Latin intimus very close friend, from (adj): innermost, deepest, from intus within



verb (tr; may take a clause as object)

to hint; suggest
to proclaim; make known
Derived Formsintimater, noun

Word Origin for intimate

C16: from Late Latin intimāre to proclaim, from Latin intimus innermost
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

Word Origin and History for intimated



1630s, "closely acquainted, very familiar," from Late Latin intimatus, past participle of intimare "make known, announce, impress," from Latin intimus "inmost" (adj.), "close friend" (n.), superlative of in "in" (see in- (2)). Used euphemistically in reference to women's underwear from 1904. Related: Intimately.



"suggest indirectly," 1530s, back-formation from intimation, or else from Late Latin intimatus, past participle of intimare. Related: Intimated; intimating.



1650s, "person with whom one is intimate," from intimate (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper