A sign alongside a road indicating a private beach.
- 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
- [pl.]Informal 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 prÄ«vÄtus (“bereaved; set apart from"), perfect passive participle of prÄ«vÅ (“I bereave, deprive"), from prÄ«vus (“single, peculiar").