Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Private

Pri′vate

(?; 48)
,
Adj.
[L.
privatus
apart from the state, peculiar to an individual, private, properly p. p. of
privare
to bereave, deprive, originally, to separate, fr.
privus
single, private, perhaps originally, put forward (hence, alone, single) and akin to
prae
before. See
Prior
,
Adj.
, and cf.
Deprive
,
Privy
,
Adj.
]
1.
Belonging to, or concerning, an individual person, company, or interest; peculiar to one’s self; unconnected with others; personal; one's own; not public; not general; separate;
as, a man's
private
opinion;
private
property; a
private
purse;
private
expenses or interests; a
private
secretary.
2.
Sequestered from company or observation; appropriated to an individual; secret; secluded; lonely; solitary;
as, a
private
room or apartment;
private
prayer.
Reason . . . then retires
Into her
private
cell when nature rests.
Milton.
3.
Not invested with, or engaged in, public office or employment;
as, a
private
citizen;
private
life.
Shak.
A
private
person may arrest a felon.
Blackstone.
4.
Not publicly known; not open; secret;
as, a
private
negotiation; a
private
understanding.
5.
Having secret or private knowledge; privy.
[Obs.]

Pri′vate

(prī′vā̍t)
,
Noun.
1.
A secret message; a personal unofficial communication.
[Obs.]
Shak.
2.
Personal interest; particular business.
[Obs.]
Nor must I be unmindful of my
private
.
B. Jonson.
3.
Privacy; retirement.
[Archaic]
“Go off; I discard you; let me enjoy my private.”
Shak.
4.
One not invested with a public office.
[Archaic]
What have kings, that
privates
have not too?
Shakespeare
5.
(Mil.)
A common soldier; a soldier below the grade of a noncommissioned officer.
Macaulay.
6.
pl.
The private parts; the genitals.
In private
,
secretly; not openly or publicly.

Webster 1828 Edition


Private

PRI'VATE

,
Adj.
[L. privatus, from privo, to bereave, properly to strip or separate; privus, singular, several, peculiar to one's self, that is, separate; rapio, diripio, eripio; privo for perivo or berivo.]
1.
Properly, separate; unconnected with others; hence, peculiar to one's self; belonging to or concerning an individual only; as a man's private opinion, business or concerns; private property; the king's private purse; a man's private expenses. Charge the money to my private account in the company's books.
2.
Peculiar to a number in a joint concern, to a company or body politic; as the private interest of a family, of a company or of a state; opposed to public, or to the general interest of nations.
3.
Sequestered from company or observation; secret; secluded; as a private cell; a private room or apartment; private prayer.
4.
Not publicly known; not open; as a private negotiation.
5.
Not invested with public office or employment; as a private man or citizen; private lift.
A private person may arrest a felon.
6.
Individual; personal; in contradistinction from public or national; as private interest.
Private way, in law, is a way or passage in which a man has an interest and right, though the ground may belong to another person. In common language, a private way may be a secret way, one not known or public.
A private act or statute, is one which operates on an individual or company only; opposed to a general law, which operates on the whole community.
A private nuance or wrong, is one which affects an individual.
In private, secretly; not openly or publicly.

PRI'VATE

,
Noun.
A secret message; particular business. [Unusual.]
1.
A common soldier.

Definition 2022


private

private

English

Adjective

private (comparative more private, superlative most private)

  1. Belonging to, concerning, or accessible only to an individual person or a specific group.
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 1, page 18:
      Now we are liberal with our innermost secrets, spraying them into the public ether with a generosity our forebears could not have imagined. Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet.
    Her address is private; you can't have it.
    private papers
  2. Not accessible by the public.
    private property
  3. Not in governmental office or employment.
    • 2013 July 19, Peter Wilby, Finland spreads word on schools”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 30:
      Imagine a country where children do nothing but play until they start compulsory schooling at age seven. Then, without exception, they attend comprehensives until the age of 16. [] There are no inspectors, no exams until the age of 18, no school league tables, no private tuition industry, no school uniforms. []
    He quit public life, living quietly as a private citizen.
  4. Not publicly known; not open; secret.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 20, in The China Governess:
      The story struck the depressingly familiar note with which true stories ring in the tried ears of experienced policemen. [] The second note, the high alarum, not so familiar and always important since it indicates the paramount sin in Man's private calendar, took most of them by surprise although they had been well prepared.
    The identity of the beneficiaries of the trust is private.
  5. Protected from view or disturbance by others; secluded.
    Can we go somewhere more private?
  6. Not traded by the public.
    • 2013 June 22, Engineers of a different kind”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 70:
      Private-equity nabobs bristle at being dubbed mere financiers. Piling debt onto companies’ balance-sheets is only a small part of what leveraged buy-outs are about, they insist. Improving the workings of the businesses they take over is just as core to their calling, if not more so. Much of their pleading is public-relations bluster.
    private corporation
  7. Secretive; reserved.
    He is a very private person.
  8. (US, of a room in a medical facility) Not shared with another patient.

Synonyms

  • (done in the view of others): secluded
  • (intended only for one's own use): personal
  • (not accessible by the public):

Antonyms

Translations

Noun

private (plural privates)

  1. The lowest rank of the army.
  2. A soldier of the rank of private.
  3. (in plural privates) A euphemistic term for the genitals.
  4. (obsolete) A secret message; a personal unofficial communication.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  5. (obsolete) Personal interest; particular business.
    • Ben Jonson
      Nor must I be unmindful of my private.
  6. (obsolete) Privacy; retirement.
    • Shakespeare
      Go off; I discard you; let me enjoy my private.
  7. (obsolete) One not invested with a public office.
    • Shakespeare
      What have kings, that privates have not too?
  8. (chiefly plural) A private lesson.
    If you want to learn ballet, consider taking privates.

Synonyms

Translations

Derived terms

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: agree · sit · considerable · #767: private · dinner · command · etc.

Esperanto

Etymology

From privata (private) + -e (adverbial ending).

Adverb

private

  1. privately

German

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -aːtə

Adjective

private

  1. inflected form of privat

Italian

Adjective

private

  1. feminine plural of privato

Verb

private

  1. feminine plural past participle of privare
  2. second-person plural indicative present of privare
  3. second-person plural imperative of privare

Anagrams


Latin

Verb

prīvāte

  1. first-person plural present active imperative of prīvō

Norwegian Bokmål

Adjective

private

  1. definite singular of privat
  2. plural of privat

Norwegian Nynorsk

Adjective

private

  1. definite singular of privat
  2. plural of privat

Swedish

Adjective

private

  1. absolute definite natural masculine form of privat.