9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-tuh-meyt] /ˈɪn təˌmeɪt/
verb (used with object), intimated, intimating.
to indicate or make known indirectly; hint; imply; suggest.
Archaic. to make known; announce.
Origin of intimate2
1530-40; < Late Latin intimātus, past participle of intimāre to impress (upon), make known, equivalent to intim(us) inmost (see intima) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
intimater, noun
intimation, noun
preintimation, noun
quasi-intimated, adjective
unintimated, adjective
Can be confused
intimate, intimidate.
1. See hint. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for intimated
  • It is no surprise to me, as it was intimated to me some time ago that he did not want the nomination.
  • It all gets worse before anything better is intimated.
  • He heightened the pristine beauty, intimated some hidden terrors and implied that perhaps neither should be disturbed.
  • Your magazine squib intimated that the above article was going to be about great directors and their techniques.
  • He also intimated that there would be some kind of twist to the episode, but that's about all he would say about it.
  • As intimated above, my original idea for this book underwent a change in the writing of the introduction.
  • Even nationalization was a possibility, he intimated.
  • He had intimated that your time would be better spent trying to figure out the mysteries of the cosmos.
  • Interestingly, he points out an observation intimated by many respondents.
  • Consumers feel intimated and generally pay whatever is demanded.
British Dictionary definitions for intimated


characterized by a close or warm personal relationship: an intimate friend
deeply personal, private, or secret
(euphemistic) (often postpositive) foll by with. having sexual relations (with)
  1. (postpositive) foll by with. having a deep or unusual knowledge (of)
  2. (of knowledge) deep; extensive
having a friendly, warm, or informal atmosphere: an intimate nightclub
of or relating to the essential part or nature of something; intrinsic
denoting the informal second person of verbs and pronouns in French and other languages
a close friend
Derived Forms
intimately, adverb
intimateness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin intimus very close friend, from (adj): innermost, deepest, from intus within


verb (transitive; may take a clause as object)
to hint; suggest
to proclaim; make known
Derived Forms
intimater, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin intimāre to proclaim, from Latin intimus innermost
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for intimated



1630s, "closely acquainted, very familiar," from Late Latin intimatus, past participle of intimare "make known, announce, impress," from Latin intimus "inmost" (adj.), "close friend" (n.), superlative of in "in" (see in- (2)). Used euphemistically in reference to women's underwear from 1904. Related: Intimately.


"suggest indirectly," 1530s, back-formation from intimation, or else from Late Latin intimatus, past participle of intimare. Related: Intimated; intimating.


1650s, "person with whom one is intimate," from intimate (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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