Meaning of PERSONAL in English
per ‧ son ‧ al S1 W1 /ˈpɜːs ə nəl $ ˈpɜːr-/ BrE AmE adjective
[ Word Family: noun : ↑ person , ↑ personality , ↑ persona , ↑ personage , the personals, ↑ personification , ↑ personnel ; adjective : ↑ personal ≠ ↑ impersonal , ↑ personalized , ↑ personable ; verb : ↑ personalize , ↑ personify ; adverb : ↑ personally ≠ ↑ impersonally ]
1 . [only before noun] belonging or relating to one particular person, rather than to other people or to people in general:
My personal view is that we shouldn’t offer him the job.
Style and colour are a matter of personal taste.
She took full personal responsibility for all the arrangements.
When I went to her room all her personal belongings had gone.
After Alan’s death, his mother received his personal effects.
I know from personal experience that you can’t trust Ralph.
the personal qualities needed to be successful in business
The car is for personal use only.
On a personal level he felt sympathy for them, but he had a job to do.
celebrities with their own personal trainer
2 . relating to the private areas of your life:
I don’t answer questions about my personal life.
May I ask you a personal question?
the records will include other personal details such as nationality, date of birth and address
He’s got a few personal problems at the moment.
The envelope was marked ‘Personal and Confidential’.
We’re not allowed to make personal phone calls at work.
3 . involving rude or upsetting criticism of someone:
It’s unprofessional to make such personal remarks.
a bitter personal attack on the president
There’s no need to get personal!
(it’s) nothing personal (=used to tell someone that you are not criticizing them)
It’s nothing personal, I just have to go home now.
4 . if you give something your personal care or attention, you deal with it yourself instead of asking someone else to do it:
Small companies can devote more personal attention to each project.
As you get promoted in a firm you lose that personal contact (=meeting and dealing with people yourself) .
5 . personal friend someone who you know well, especially a famous or important person
personal friend of
Apparently the director is a personal friend of hers.
6 . [only before noun] relating to your body or the way you look:
Grant was always fussy about his personal appearance.
the importance of personal hygiene
7 . personal touch something you do to make something special, or that makes someone feel special:
It’s those extra personal touches that make our service better.
8 . personal best the fastest time, most points etc that a ↑ sportsman or ↑ sportswoman has ever achieved:
I ran 20.51 seconds for a personal best.
9 . personal development improvements in your character and skills
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)
▪ sb’s personal view/opinion
My personal opinion is that the project was started too soon.
▪ sb’s personal possessions/belongings/property
All personal belongings should be clearly marked with the owner’s name.
▪ sb’s personal effects (formal) (=small possessions, clothing etc)
After his suicide, his mother received his personal effects.
▪ personal taste/preference
What you plant in your garden is ultimately a matter of personal preference.
▪ personal qualities
They stress the importance of a teacher’s personal qualities.
▪ personal experience
I have had personal experience of unemployment.
▪ a personal relationship
It’s important to establish a good personal relationship with the voters.
▪ a personal interest in something
He took a personal interest in the case.
▪ for (your) personal use
He bought a computer for his personal use.
▪ on a personal level (=used when giving your own opinion rather than the opinion of the organization you represent)
On a personal level, it’s been a very positive experience.
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
▪ sb’s personal life
I’ve got to maintain a balance between my personal life and my work.
▪ personal details
Fill in your personal details.
▪ personal problems
Counselors can give assistance to students with personal problems.
▪ a personal question
That’s a rather personal question.
▪ a personal call
Are you sure your boss doesn’t mind your using the telephone for personal calls?
▪ for personal reasons
The company’s chief executive has resigned for personal reasons.
• • •
▪ private if something is private, you do not want most people to know about it because it concerns your feelings, your relationships etc:
He didn’t want to discuss his private life.
What happens in the bedroom is strictly private.
▪ personal relating to your private life – used especially about problems, feelings, and questions:
They asked a lot of personal questions.
She talked about her own personal feelings.
I’d rather not talk about it – it’s personal.
The singer has had a lot of problems in her personal life.
▪ secret [only before noun] used about feelings and thoughts that you do not tell anyone about:
Barclay had a secret desire to become an actor.
His secret fear was that Jenny would leave him.
▪ intimate very private – used about things relating to your relationships and sexual feelings:
an intimate conversation
Many people share intimate details of their lives on the Internet.
their intimate moments together
▪ innermost [only before noun] your innermost feelings, thoughts etc are your most private ones:
Counselling often encourages you to reveal your innermost thoughts.
▪ be none of sb’s business if something is none of your business, it is private and you should not ask about it:
It’s none of your business how much I earn.
‘Are you married?’ ‘That’s none of your business.’
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012