Definition of personal in English:


Line breaks: per|son¦al
Pronunciation: /ˈpəːs(ə)n(ə)l


  • 2Of or concerning one’s private life, relationships, and emotions rather than one’s career or public life: the book describes his sporting career and gives little information about his personal life
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    • He is much less certain and dogmatic talking about emotions and personal relationships.
    • The relationship between a political figure's personal life and his public career is a tricky one.
    • Their argument is that nothing is too personal or private for public discourse.
    private, confidential, one's own business, intimate, secret
  • 2.1Referring to an individual’s character, appearance, or private life in an inappropriate or offensive way: he had the cheek to make personal remarks
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    • It's very rude to relay personal remarks, but I've made a career out of it - so why stop now?
    • I suggest that it is time you made a ruling on that, and said that those sorts of personal insinuations are inappropriate.
    • He decided to get very personal and to refer to my own marriage.
    derogatory, disparaging, belittling, insulting, critical, rude, slighting, disrespectful, offensive, pejorative
  • 3Relating to a person’s body: personal hygiene
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    • On some Tory blog's comment section this is a cue for speculating about personal hygiene of and body hair on greenies.
    • As a youngster he has overcome racism and through his life there have been enough personal body blows to ensure that he appreciates the good in his world.
    • I put it down to the fact that as he's Italian the encroaching of personal body space was just something that came with the territory.
  • 4 Grammar Of or denoting one of the three persons. See person ( sense 2).
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    • Yes, that's why I used the personal pronoun - stating a personal opinion.
    • If a personal noun was necessary to make sense of running conversation, I added the name.
  • 5 Theology Existing as a self-aware entity, not as an abstraction or an impersonal force: he rejected the notion of a personal God
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    • We must, then, somehow think of God as both personal and impersonal, and in one sense, it would seem, this presents no difficulty.
    • I was also able to make contact with spiritual entities personal to me, even explore some past life stuff a bit.
    • Goethe's Faust reminds us forever that the devil is personal, not impersonal.


(usually personals) chiefly North American Back to top  
  • An advertisement or message in the personal column of a newspaper.
    More example sentences
    • They found each other through a personals advertisement Ehud placed in an Indian newspaper.
    • You know the drill: we look for the creepiest, sleaziest ads in the Leader newspaper personals and you kiddies get to vote for the worst one.
    • Jacob, a 30-something guy advertised in a personals magazine and thought he had found his partner.


late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin personalis 'of a person', from persona (see person).

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