- The definition of private is something that belongs to or is used by only a limited few, or information available only to a limited number of people and not publicly shared.
- An example of something that would be described as private is a road that is only for residents of a neighborhood.
- An example of information that would be described as private is your salary or your PIN number.
- An example of something that would be described as private is a company owned only by a few people and not publicly traded on the stock market.
- of, belonging to, or concerning a particular person or group; not common or general: private property, a private joke
- not open to, intended for, or controlled by the public: a private school
- for an individual person: a private room in a hospital
- not holding public office: a private citizen
- away from public view; secluded: a private dining room
- not publicly or generally known; confidential: a private matter
- tending to keep one's personal matters to oneself: a private person
- carried out on an individual basis: private medical practice
- engaged in work independent of institutions, organizations, agencies, etc.: private detective, private tutor
Origin of privateMiddle English pryvat ; from Classical Latin privatus, belonging to oneself, not to the state ; from privare, to separate, deprive ; from privus, separate, peculiar, probably akin to Old Latin pri: see prime
- the genitalsalso private parts
- an enlisted person of either of the two lowest ranks in the U.S. Army or of the lowest rank in the U.S. Marine Corps
- a. Secluded from the sight, presence, or intrusion of others: a private hideaway.b. Designed or intended for one's exclusive use: a private room.
- a. Of or confined to the individual; personal: a private joke; private opinions.b. Undertaken on an individual basis: private studies; private research.c. Of, relating to, or receiving special hospital services and privileges: a private patient.
- Not available for public use, control, or participation: a private club; a private party.
- a. Belonging to a particular person or persons, as opposed to the public or the government: private property.b. Of, relating to, or derived from nongovernment sources: private funding.c. Conducted and supported primarily by individuals or groups not affiliated with governmental agencies or corporations: a private college; a private sanatorium.d. Enrolled in or attending a private school: a private student.
- Capitalized in shares of stock that are held by a relatively small number of owners and are not traded on the open market: a private company; a company that went private; took a company private.
- Not holding an official or public position: a private citizen.
- a. Not for public knowledge or disclosure; secret: private papers; a private communication.b. Not appropriate for use or display in public; intimate: private behavior; a private tragedy.c. Placing a high value on personal privacy: a private person.
- a. A noncommissioned rank in the US Army or Marine Corps that is below private first class.b. One who holds this rank or a similar rank in a military organization.
- privates Private parts. Often used with the.
Origin of privateMiddle English privat, from Latin prīvātus, not in public life, past participle of prīvāre, to release, deprive, from prīvus, single, alone; see per1 in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more private, superlative most private)
- Belonging to, concerning, or accessible only to an individual person or a specific group.
- Her address is private; you can't have it.
- Not in governmental office or employment.
- He quit public life, living quietly as a private citizen.
- Not publicly known; not open; secret.
- The identity of the beneficiaries of the trust is private.
- Protected from view or disturbance by others; secluded.
- Can we go somewhere more private?
- Intended only for the use of an individual, group, or organization.
- private papers
- Not accessible by the public.
- private property
- Not traded by the public.
- private corporation
- Secretive; reserved.
- He is a very private person.
- (US, of a room in a medical facility) Not shared with another patient.
- The lowest rank of the army.
- A soldier of the rank of private.
- (in plural privates) A euphemistic term for the genitals.
From Latin prīvātus (“bereaved; set apart from”), perfect passive participle of prīvō (“I bereave, deprive”), from prīvus (“single, peculiar”).