personal

[ pur-suh-nl ]
/ ˈpɜr sə nl /

adjective

noun

  1. a short news paragraph in a newspaper concerning a particular person, as one who is socially prominent, or a group of particular persons who are socially prominent.
  2. a brief, private notice in a newspaper or magazine, often addressed to a particular person, and typically bearing an abbreviated salutation and signature to preserve its confidentiality, usually printed in a special part of the classified advertising section.
  3. Also called personal ad. a similar notice, as in a newspaper or on a website, placed by a person seeking companionship, a spouse, etc.
  4. Usually personals. a column, page, or section, as of a newspaper, magazine, or website, featuring such notices or items.

Nearby words

  1. persona grata,
  2. persona non grata,
  3. personable,
  4. personae,
  5. personage,
  6. personal care,
  7. personal column,
  8. personal computer,
  9. personal day,
  10. personal digital assistant

Origin of personal

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Late Latin word persōnālis. See person, -al1

Related forms
Can be confusedpersonal personnel (see usage note at personnel)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for personal ad

personal

/ (ˈpɜːsənəl) /

adjective

noun

law an item of movable property
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 personal ad

personal

adj.

late 14c., "pertaining to the self," from Old French personal (12c., Modern French personnel), from Late Latin personalis "pertaining to a person," from Latin persona (see person). Meaning "aimed at some particular person" (usually in a hostile manner) first attested 1610s. The noun sense of "newspaper item about private matters" is attested from 1888. As "a classified ad addressed to an individual," it is recorded from 1861. Personal computer is from 1976.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper