Capturing essential elements of the client-nurse relationship is an ongoing quest for nursing theorists and practitioners. The concepts which can describe this relationship may in fact have a long history of study in nursing and related disciplines. The concept of intimacy does have a trail of previous study. Giving credence to this work, in preference to developing a new lexicon, enables nurses to see interpersonal relationships with clients in the context of interdisciplinary, indeed human endeavour. In this article, the concept of intimacy is reviewed as it has been studied from a variety of perspectives. Selected aspects of intimacy in client-nurse relationships are also explored.