Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

personal - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective     personal pronunciation in British English
  1. 1
    [usually before noun] used about your own opinions or feelings

    My own personal view is that boxing should be banned.

    Choosing a new car is a matter of personal preference.

    1. a.
      used about events or experiences in your life

      her own personal tragedy

      Most writers use personal experience as the basis for their novels.

    2. b.
      used about things that you own

      Many of her personal belongings had been stolen.

      Every scrap of personal property was removed from his pockets.

    3. c.
      used about services or objects that you do not share with anyone else

      I’ve decided to hire a personal fitness trainer.

      He has his own personal telephone in his bedroom.

  2. 2
    private and not known or available to most people

    This is a personal matter and does not concern you.

    a personal conversation/letter

    for personal reasons:

    She resigned from her job for personal reasons.

    personal problems (=ones concerning your relationships or health):

    He’s had a few personal problems recently.

  3. 3
    aimed at one particular person, in an unfriendly or offensive way

    He saw her comments as a personal attack.

  4. 4
    [only before noun] involving a direct relationship between two people who know each other

    The two leaders had a good personal relationship.

    Sue and Harry are close personal friends.

    personal chemistry (=strong feelings when two people have a very special close relationship):

    the unique personal chemistry between twins

  5. 5
    done by a person directly, rather than by a representative

    The Rolling Stones will be making a personal appearance at the awards ceremony.

    the president’s personal involvement in the project

    1. a.
      used for describing something that is friendly and shows your personality

      Her visit to my office was a nice personal touch.

      Synonyms and related words
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a rainbow produced when water droplets in the air reflect light from the moon rather than the sun

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

platform capitalism

a way of doing business that involves recruiting large numbers of people who work for themselves using the company's platform, as used by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and the like

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play