• synonyms


See more synonyms for intimate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), in·ti·mat·ed, in·ti·mat·ing.
  1. to indicate or make known indirectly; hint; imply; suggest.
  2. Archaic. to make known; announce.
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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

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. See hint.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for intimating

assert, imply, impart, affirm, vent, spring, utter, indicate, connote, leak, avouch, allude, state, insinuate, aver, announce, infer, expose, express, communicate

Examples from the Web for intimating

Historical Examples of intimating

  • That was his way of intimating that it was of no consequence.

    The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 25, January 1893


  • That is intimating, rather obliquely, to be sure, that you may alter your mind.

    An Old Sailor's Yarns

    Nathaniel Ames

  • That was his gentle way of intimating that Claude was not invited to be a looker-on.


    George Washington Cable

  • He pointed to the boat, intimating by his signs that she was to go on board.

    Hope and Have

    Oliver Optic

  • A polite manner of intimating that the article in question has not been paid.

    The Proverbs of Scotland

    Alexander Hislop

British Dictionary definitions for intimating


  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 for intimate

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 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 intimating



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