personal (adj.)

late 14c., "private, pertaining to the self or to a self-conscious individual; performed by the individual himself," from Old French personal (12c., Modern French personnel), from Late Latin personalis "pertaining to a person," from Latin persona (see person).

The meaning "applicable to, directed at, or aimed at some particular person" (usually in a hostile manner) is attested from 1610s. Designating an official or employee attached to one's person (as in personal secretary) by 1928.

The noun sense of "newspaper item about private matters" is attested from 1888. As "a classified ad addressed to an individual," it is recorded from 1861. Personal computer is from 1976.

updated on April 14, 2020

Definitions of personal from WordNet
personal (adj.)
concerning or affecting a particular person or his or her private life and personality;
I have something personal to tell you
he has his personal bank account and she has hers
a personal God
a personal favor
personal papers
for your personal use
personal (adj.)
particular to a given individual;
personal (adj.)
of or arising from personality;
personal magnetism
personal (adj.)
intimately concerning a person's body or physical being;
personal hygiene
personal (adj.)
indicating grammatical person;
personal verb endings
personal (n.)
a short newspaper article about a particular person or group;
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.