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Intimacy - zeldin 2.jpg

I see humanity as a family that has hardly met. I see the meeting of people, bodies, thoughts, emotions or actions as the start of most change. Each link created by a meeting is like a filament, which, if they were all visible, would make the world look as though it is covered with gossamer. Every individual is connected to others, loosely or closely, by a unique combination of filaments which stretch across the frontiers of space and time...To feel isolated, is to be unaware of the filaments which link one to the past and to parts of the globe one may never have seen.[1]

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The age of discovery has hardly begun. So far individuals have spent more time trying to understand themselves than discovering others. But now curiosity is expanding as never before...To know someone in every country in the world, and someone in every walk of life, may soon be the minimum demand of people who want to experience fully what is means to be alive. The gossamer world of intimate relations is in varying degrees separate from the territorial world in which people are identified by where they live and work, by whom they have to obey, by their passports and bank balances... but the art of encounter is in its infancy. Zeldin - The History of Intimacy


f. INTIMATE 1. The quality or condition of being intimate.

1. a.

The state of being personally intimate; intimate friendship or acquaintance; familiar intercourse; close familiarity; an instance of this.


1641 J. JACKSON True Evang. T. III. 180 Any other noble, and lawfull familiarities of intimacie, and deerenesse. 1675 BAXTER Cath. Theol. II. IX. 201 That they did own intimacy with them assured me. 1709 MRS. MANLEY Secret Mem. (1736) IV. 169 A Friend of mine that was of their Intimacy. 1800 E. HERVEY Mourtray Fam. III. 140 The closest intimacy was immediately struck up between them. 1814 JANE AUSTEN Mansf. Park II. iii, Sir Thomas, drawing back from intimacies in general. 1898 A. W. W. DALE Life R. W. Dale iii. 43 Intimacy and affection..have turned the dead volumes into living friends.

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1. b.

euphem. for sexual intercourse.


1676 tr. Guillatiere's Voy. Athens 70 Having a mutual desire to continue their intimacy. 1879 FROUDE Cæsar xii. 151 Cæsar was accused of criminal intimacy with many ladies of the highest rank. 1889 Daily News 23 Jan. 2/6 The defendant..did not however have intimacy with her. He had never been intimate with her. 1906 B. WEBB in S. Hynes Edwardian Turn of Mind (1968) iv. 114 Friendship between particular men and practically impossible..without physical intimacy... There remains the question whether, with all the perturbation caused by such intimacies, you would have any brain left to think with? 1907 Westm. Gaz. 14 Dec. 11/2 She stayed the night with Wood at his father's house... Intimacy took place on that occasion. 1963 A. HERON Towards Quaker View of Sex 71 Intimacy, close friendship, but also as a synonym for sexual intercourse.

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1. c.

Closeness of observation, knowledge, or the like.


1714 HEARNE Duct. Hist. I. Advt. 3rd ed. 2 The Observations..had not enter'd with intimacy enough into that Subject. 1817 CHALMERS Astron. Disc. ii. (1852) 42 There is a something in the intimacy of a man's own experience.

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Intimate or close connexion or union. rare.


1720 WATERLAND Eight Serm. 137 The Union and Intimacy between Father and Son is such, that they are not two Gods, but one God. 1870 H. SPENCER Princ. Psychol. (ed. 2) I. §35. 85 Explosions occur only..where the elements concerned are..distributed among one another molecularly, or, as in gunpowder, with minute intimacy.

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Inner or inmost nature; an inward quality or feature. Obs.


1660 HEXHAM, Inwendigheydt, Inwardnesse, or Intimacie. 1771 P. H. View 2 last Parlts. 118 Every one that had the Honour to be acquainted with the Intimacies of this Gentleman's Skill and Address, knew him form'd for the Prime Management in whatever he undertook.

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