From Latin prīvātus (“bereaved, deprived, set apart from”), perfect passive participle of prīvō (“I bereave, deprive”), from prīvus (“private, one's own, peculiar”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *per; compare prime, prior, pristine.
- Belonging to, concerning, or accessible only to an individual person or a specific group.
- Her address is private; you can't have it.
- private papers
- 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.
- Not accessible by the public.
- private property
- Not in governmental office or employment.
- He quit public life, living quietly as a private citizen.
- 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. […]
- Not publicly known; not open; secret.
- The identity of the beneficiaries of the trust is private.
- 1620, Giovanni Bocaccio, John Florio, transl., The Decameron, Containing an Hundred Pleaſant Nouels: Wittily Diſcourſed, Betweene Seuen Honourable Ladies, and Three Noble Gentlemen, Isaac Iaggard, Nouell 8, The Eighth Day:
- […] purſued his vnneighbourly purpoſe in ſuch ſort: that hee being the ſtronger perſwader, and ſhe (belike) too credulous in beleeuing or elſe ouer-feeble in reſiſting, from priuate imparlance, they fell to action; and continued their cloſe fight a long while together, vnſeene and vvithout ſuſpition, no doubt to their equall ioy and contentment.
- 1963, Margery Allingham, “Eye Witness”, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, OCLC 483591931, page 249:
- 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.
- Protected from view or disturbance by others; secluded.
- Can we go somewhere more private?
- Not traded by the public.
- private corporation
- 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.
- Secretive; reserved.
- He is a very private person.
- (US, of a room in a medical facility) Not shared with another patient.
- (not comparable, object-oriented programming) Accessible only to the class itself or instances of it, and not to other classes or even subclasses.
- (done in the view of others): secluded
- (intended only for one's own use): personal
- (not accessible by the public):
- (not publicly known): secret
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
private (plural privates)
- A soldier of the lowest rank in the army.
- A doctor working in privately rather than publicly funded health care.
- 1973, Health/PAC Bulletin (issues 48-67, page 2)
- In the cities and towns of California, privates are pressuring county governments to close or reduce in size their hospitals and to pay private hospitals for the care of low-income patients. Thus everything is stacked against public hospitals.
- 1993, United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Immigration and Refugee Affairs, The implementation of employer sanctions: Hearings
- Because you are already moving people with the limitations of what we did in 1982 on the capping of Medicare, you are finding out that the privates are picking up that slack, […]
- 1973, Health/PAC Bulletin (issues 48-67, page 2)
- (euphemistic, in the plural) The genitals.
- (obsolete) A secret message; a personal unofficial communication.
- c. 1596, William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene iii]:
- The Count Meloone, a Noble Lord of France,
Whose priuate with me of the Dolphines loue,
s much more generall, then these lines import.
- (obsolete) Personal interest; particular business.
- (obsolete) Privacy; retirement.
- c. 1601–1602, William Shakespeare, “Twelfe Night, or VVhat You VVill”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iv], page 268, column 1:
- Go off, I diſcard you: let me enioy my priuate: go off.
- (obsolete) One not invested with a public office.
- 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Henry the Fift”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene i], page 85, column 1:
- And what haue Kings, that Priuates haue not too, […]
- (usually in the plural) A private lesson.
- If you want to learn ballet, consider taking privates.
- private at OneLook Dictionary Search
- private in Keywords for Today: A 21st Century Vocabulary, edited by The Keywords Project, Colin MacCabe, Holly Yanacek, 2018.
- "private" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 242.
- private in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
- inflection of :
- feminine plural past participle of
- second-person plural present indicative of
- second-person plural imperative of