personal [pur-suh-nl] Word Origin adjective

  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.”
  3. intended for use by one person: a personal car.
  4. referring or directed to a particular person in a disparaging or offensive sense or manner, usually involving character, behavior, appearance, etc.: personal remarks.
  5. making personal remarks or attacks: to become personal in a dispute.
  6. done, carried out, held, etc., in person: a personal interview.
  7. pertaining to or characteristic of a person or self-conscious being: That is my personal belief.
  8. of the nature of an individual rational being.
  9. pertaining to the body, clothing, or appearance: personal cleanliness.
  10. provided for one’s discretionary use: Employees are allowed 15 vacation days and two personal days.
  11. Grammar.
    1. noting person: In Latin portō “I carry,” -ō is a personal ending.
    2. of, relating to, or characteristic of the personal pronoun, as English I, we, you, he, she, it, and they.
  12. Law. of or relating to personal property: personal interests.


    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.

Origin of personal First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Late Latin word persōnālis. See person, -al1 Related formsper·son·al·ness, nounhy·per·per·son·al, adjectivehy·per·per·son·al·ly, adverbmul·ti·per·son·al, adjectivenon·per·son·al, adjectivenon·per·son·al·ly, adverbqua·si-per·son·al, adjectivequa·si-per·son·al·ly, adverbsu·per·per·son·al, adjectivesu·per·per·son·al·ly, adverbun·per·son·al, adjectiveun·per·son·al·ly, adverbCan be confusedpersonal personnel (see usage note at personnel) British Dictionary definitions for quasi-personal personal adjective

  1. of or relating to the private aspects of a person’s lifepersonal letters; a personal question
  2. (prenominal) of or relating to a person’s body, its care, or its appearancepersonal hygiene; great personal beauty
  3. belonging to or intended for a particular person and no-one elseas a personal favour; for your personal use
  4. (prenominal) undertaken by an individual himselfa personal appearance by a celebrity
  5. referring to, concerning, or involving a person’s individual personality, intimate affairs, etc, esp in an offensive waypersonal remarks; don’t be so personal
  6. having the attributes of an individual conscious beinga personal God
  7. of or arising from the personalitypersonal magnetism
  8. of, relating to, or denoting grammatical person
  9. law of or relating to movable property, such as moneyCompare real 1 (def. 8)


  1. law an item of movable property

Word Origin and History for quasi-personal 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.

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