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See more synonyms for intimate on Thesaurus.com
  1. associated in close personal relations: an intimate friend.
  2. characterized by or involving warm friendship or a personally close or familiar association or feeling: an intimate greeting.
  3. very private; closely personal: one's intimate affairs.
  4. characterized by or suggesting an atmosphere conducive to privacy or intimacy; warmly cozy: an intimate little café where we can relax and talk.
  5. (of an association, knowledge, understanding, etc.) arising from close personal connection or familiar experience.
  6. engaged in or characterized by sexual relations: too young to handle an intimate relationship.
  7. (of women's clothing) worn next to the skin, under street or outer garments: a store that sells intimate apparel.
  8. detailed; deep: a more intimate analysis.
  9. showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.
  10. inmost; deep within.
  11. of, relating to, or characteristic of the inmost or essential nature; intrinsic: the intimate structure of an organism.
  12. of, relating to, or existing in the inmost depths of the mind: intimate beliefs.
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  1. an intimate friend or associate, especially a confidant.
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Origin of intimate1

1600–10; < Latin intim(us) a close friend (noun use of the adj.; see intima) + -ate1
Related formsin·ti·mate·ly, adverbin·ti·mate·ness, noun


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. dear. See familiar. 3. privy, secret. 8. exacting, thorough. 13. crony.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for intimately

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I have been intimately associated with many brewers throughout the country.

  • It was gay, it was quiet and restful, it was intimately personal.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • I thought I recognised the voice: I know him intimately well.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • How we hide ourselves from those we love best and live with most intimately!

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • Ruffo's mother knew Gaspare, must have known him intimately in the past.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

British Dictionary definitions for intimately


  1. characterized by a close or warm personal relationshipan intimate friend
  2. deeply personal, private, or secret
  3. (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
  4. having a friendly, warm, or informal atmospherean intimate nightclub
  5. of or relating to the essential part or nature of something; intrinsic
  6. denoting the informal second person of verbs and pronouns in French and other languages
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  1. a close friend
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Derived Formsintimately, adverbintimateness, noun

Word Origin

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


verb (tr; may take a clause as object)
  1. to hint; suggest
  2. to proclaim; make known
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Derived Formsintimater, noun

Word Origin

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 intimately



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.

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

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper