[ pur-suh-nl ]
See synonyms for: personalpersonals on

  1. of, relating to, or coming as from a particular person; individual; private: a personal opinion.

  2. relating to, directed to, or intended for a particular person: a personal favor; one's personal life; a letter marked “Personal.”

  1. intended for use by one person: a personal car.

  2. referring or directed to a particular person in a disparaging or offensive sense or manner, usually involving character, behavior, appearance, etc.: personal remarks.

  3. making personal remarks or attacks: to become personal in a dispute.

  4. done, carried out, held, etc., in person: a personal interview.

  5. pertaining to or characteristic of a person or self-conscious being: That is my personal belief.

  6. of the nature of an individual rational being.

  7. pertaining to the body, clothing, or appearance: personal cleanliness.

  8. provided for one's discretionary use: Employees are allowed 15 vacation days and two personal days.

  9. Grammar.

    • noting person: In Latin portō “I carry,” -ō is a personal ending.

    • of, relating to, or characteristic of the personal pronoun, as English I, we, you, he, she, it, and they.

  10. Law. of or relating to personal property: personal interests.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Also called personal ad . a similar notice, as in a newspaper or on a website, placed by a person seeking companionship, a spouse, etc.

    • Usually personals. a column, page, or section, as of a newspaper, magazine, or website, featuring such notices or items.

Origin of personal

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

Other words from personal

  • per·son·al·ness, noun
  • hy·per·per·son·al, adjective
  • hy·per·per·son·al·ly, adverb
  • mul·ti·per·son·al, adjective
  • non·per·son·al, adjective
  • non·per·son·al·ly, adverb
  • qua·si-per·son·al, adjective
  • qua·si-per·son·al·ly, adverb
  • su·per·per·son·al, adjective
  • su·per·per·son·al·ly, adverb
  • un·per·son·al, adjective
  • un·per·son·al·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with personal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use personal in a sentence

  • Wednesday was their big day and Helen worked hard all morning writing her personals.

    Helen in the Editor's Chair | Ruthe S. Wheeler
  • Wonder how Dad will like our new editorial head and the three column box head I set for your personals?

    Helen in the Editor's Chair | Ruthe S. Wheeler
  • A few moments later he found himself reading over and over a small notice inserted among the personals.

    The Breaking Point | Mary Roberts Rinehart

British Dictionary definitions for personal


/ (ˈpɜːsənəl) /

  1. of or relating to the private aspects of a person's life: personal letters; a personal question

  2. (prenominal) of or relating to a person's body, its care, or its appearance: personal hygiene; great personal beauty

  1. belonging to or intended for a particular person and no-one else: as a personal favour; for your personal use

  2. (prenominal) undertaken by an individual himself: a personal appearance by a celebrity

  3. referring to, concerning, or involving a person's individual personality, intimate affairs, etc, esp in an offensive way: personal remarks; don't be so personal

  4. having the attributes of an individual conscious being: a personal God

  5. of or arising from the personality: personal magnetism

  6. of, relating to, or denoting grammatical person

  7. law of or relating to movable property, such as money: Compare real 1 (def. 8)

  1. 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