• Personal


    • UK IPA: /ˈpɜː.sən.əl/
    • US IPA: /ˈpɜ˞.sən.əl/

    Alternative forms


    From Middle English personal, personele, from Anglo-Norman personel, personal, personell, Old French personal, personel, from Late Latin persōnālis (""), equivalent to person + -al.

    Full definition of personal



    1. Pertaining to human beings as distinct from things.
    2. Of or pertaining to a particular person; relating to, or affecting, an individual, or each of many individuals; peculiar or proper to private concerns; not public or general
      personal question;   personal desire
      Her song was her personal look at the values of friendship.
      You can't read my diary - it is personal.
    3. Pertaining to the external or bodily appearance; corporeal.
      personal''' charms
      • 1922, Ben Travers, A Cuckoo in the Nest Chapter 5, The most rapid and most seductive transition in all human nature is that which attends the palliation of a ravenous appetite....Can those harmless but refined fellow-diners be the selfish cads whose gluttony and personal appearance so raised your contemptuous wrath on your arrival?
    4. Done in person; without the intervention of another.
      a personal interview;   personal settings
      • WhiteThis immediate and personal speaking of God Almighty to Abraham, Job and Moses,...
    5. Relating to an individual, his character, conduct, motives, or private affairs, in an invidious and offensive manner; as, personal reflections or remarks.
    6. (grammar) Denoting a person.
      a personal pronoun

    Usage notes

    Not to be confused with personnel ("employees, staff").


    Related terms

    Terms etymologically related to personal



    (plural personals)
    1. An advertisement by which individuals attempt to meet others with similar interests.
    2. A movable; a chattel.


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