Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French personel, from Late Latin personalis, from Latin persona
Date: 14th century
1. of, relating to, or affecting a particular person ; private, individual <personal ambition> <personal financial gain> 2. a. done in person without the intervention of another; also proceeding from a single person b. carried on between individuals directly <a personal interview> 3. relating to the person or body 4. relating to an individual or an individual's character, conduct, motives, or private affairs often in an offensive manner <a personal insult> 5. a. being rational and self-conscious <personal, responsive government is still possible — John Fischer> b. having the qualities of a person rather than a thing or abstraction <a personal devil> 6. of, relating to, or constituting personal property <a personal estate> 7. denoting grammatical person 8. intended for private use or use by one person <a personal stereo> II. noun Date: 1861 1. a short newspaper paragraph relating to the activities of a person or a group or to personal matters 2. a short personal communication in a special column of the classified ads section of a newspaper or periodical 3. personal foul
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.