Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to a particular person; private: "Like their personal lives, women's history is fragmented, interrupted” ( Elizabeth Janeway).
  • adj. Done, made, or performed in person: a personal appearance.
  • adj. Done to or for or directed toward a particular person: a personal favor.
  • adj. Concerning a particular person and his or her private business, interests, or activities; intimate: I have something personal to tell you.
  • adj. Aimed pointedly at the most intimate aspects of a person, especially in a critical or hostile manner: an uncalled-for, highly personal remark.
  • adj. Tending to make remarks, or be unduly questioning, about another's affairs: As the student debate got heated, it got personal.
  • adj. Of or relating to the body or physical being: personal cleanliness.
  • adj. Relating to or having the nature of a person or self-conscious being: belief in a personal God.
  • adj. Law Relating to a person's movable property: personal possessions.
  • adj. Grammar Indicating grammatical person.
  • n. A personal item or notice in a newspaper.
  • n. A column in a newspaper or magazine featuring personal notices.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pertaining to human beings as distinct from things.
  • adj. 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
  • adj. Pertaining to the external or bodily appearance; corporeal; as, personal charms.
  • adj. Done in person; without the intervention of another.
  • adj. Relating to an individual, his character, conduct, motives, or private affairs, in an invidious and offensive manner; as, personal reflections or remarks.
  • adj. Denoting person; as, a personal pronoun.
  • n. An advertisement by which individuals attempt to meet others with similar interests.
  • n. A movable; a chattel.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to human beings as distinct from things.
  • adj. 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
  • adj. Pertaining to the external or bodily appearance; corporeal.
  • adj. Done in person; without the intervention of another.
  • adj. Relating to an individual, his character, conduct, motives, or private affairs, in an invidious and offensive manner.
  • adj. Denoting person.
  • n. A movable; a chattel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to a person or self-conscious being as distinct or distinguihshed from a thing; having personality, or the character of a person; self-conscious; belonging to men and women, or to superhuman intelligences, and not to animals or things: as, a personal God; the personal object of a verb.
  • Pertaining, relating, or peculiar to a person or self-consciious individual as distinct or distinguished from others or from the community; individual: as, not a public but a personal matter; personal interests; personal property, etc.
  • Proper or directly applicable to a specific person or individual, or to his character, conduct, etc.; pointed, directed, or specifically applicable or applied, especially in a disparaging or offensive sense or manner, to some particular individual (either one's self or another): as, a personal paragraph; personal abuse; personal remarkes.
  • Relating to one's self, or one's own experiences: as, personal reminiscences.
  • Done, effected, or made in person, and not by deputy or representative: as, a personal appearance; a personal interview; personal service of a summons; personal application is necessary.
  • Persent in person.
  • Of or pertaining to the person or bodily form; belonging to the face or figure; corporeal: as personal beauty.
  • In grammar, denoting or pointing to the person; expressing the distinctions of the three persons: as, a personal pronoun; a personal verb.
  • An action for the recovery of money or specific chattles.
  • Any action other than one for the recovery of land.
  • Originally called personal because the remedy for deprivation was to recover damages enforceable against the person of the defendant. In the law of England the distinction between real and personal property is very nearly the same as the distinction between heritable and movable property in the law of Scotland.
  • Those who succeed to property and rights by virtue of a personal relation, or as deemed to represent in law the person.
  • In the law of real property, such a servitude as has not been constituted for the advantage of the estate, but has been granted on another's estate, only for the use of a person.
  • n. In law, any movable thing, either living or dead; a movable.
  • n. A short notice or paragraph in a newspaper referring to some person or persons.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. concerning or affecting a particular person or his or her private life and personality
  • adj. indicating grammatical person
  • adj. intimately concerning a person's body or physical being
  • adj. particular to a given individual
  • n. a short newspaper article about a particular person or group
  • adj. of or arising from personality

Etymologies

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

Examples

  • It is unclear, however, whether this way of distinguishing between personal and moral integrity captures ordinary use of the term ˜personal integrity™.

    Integrity

  • VIEW FAVORITES yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'Latest Iraqi war casualty -- conservative belief in "personal responsibility"'; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'To the list of conservative principles which are being tossed aside like yesterday’s trash in order to defend George Bush, let us add the ostensible virtue of “personal responsibility.

    OpEdNews - Quicklink: Latest Iraqi war casualty -- conservative belief in "personal responsibility"

  • It is because these things -- those which "avail for highest purposes" -- make man personal and mark him off, broadly speaking, from the lower, sub-human life out of which he has emerged, that we believe in the permanence of human personality, of the spiritual element in man, in the survival of the soul _as individual and personal_, and not merely as "part of the eternal Being of God."

    Problems of Immanence: studies critical and constructive

  • I'm going to leave her in the personal care -- the _personal_ care, you understand me, of every decent man in Crawling Water.

    Hidden Gold

  • Had he meant the virtues or moral qualities, he would have spoken plainer, as was his wont; but here, where the subject is the personal beauty, the charms of Theodote, it is more in the Socratic vein that he refers to other _personal_ charms, which engage his thoughts night and day, and keep him at home.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 54, No. 338, December 1843

  • _ -- After the 10th instant all persons will be required to prove their identity by the personal document (_cédula personal_), together with the pass above-mentioned, and neither the amnesty passes already granted nor any other document will have any legal validity.

    The Philippine Islands

  • Travellers are allowed to take with them all that is necessary _for their own personal use, as travellers_, without paying any duty; but articles that are intended for sale as merchandise, or those which, though intended for the traveller's own use, are not strictly _personal_, are liable to pay duty.

    Rollo in Switzerland

  • I might have freely conceded that savages decorate themselves for the sake of gaining an advantage in courtship without thereby in the least yielding the main thesis of this chapter, which is that the admiration of personal beauty is not one of the motives which induce a savage to marry a particular girl or man; for most of the "decorations" described in the preceding pages are not elements of _personal_ beauty at all, but are either external appendages to that beauty, or mutilations of it.

    Primitive Love and Love-Stories

  • _personal experience_ however is not always the best source material to base a conclusion on, because sometimes peoples personal experiences are different.

    TrekWeb - Browse, Bicker, and Boldly Go (Star Trek)

  • a period of transition from serfage to personal liberty, extending through twelve or fourteen years, -- the arrival of the serf at personal freedom, with ownership of his cabin and the bit of land attached to it, -- the gradual reimbursement of masters by serfs, -- and after this advance to _personal_ liberty, an advance by easy steps to a sort of

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, No. 61, November, 1862

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