English

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Etymology

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From Latin prīvātus (bereaved, deprived, set apart from, release), perfect passive participle of prīvō (I bereave, deprive, release), from prīvus (private, one's own, peculiar), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *per; compare prime, prior, pristine. Doublet of privy.

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): /ˈpɹaɪ.vɪt/, /ˈpɹaɪ.vət/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Hyphenation: pri‧vate
  • Rhymes: -aɪvɪt, -aɪvət

Adjective

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private (comparative more private, superlative most private)

  1. Belonging or pertaining to an individual person, group of people, or entity that is not the state.
    In some countries, healthcare is provided by both the government and private companies.
    • 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.
  2. Relating to an individual or group of individuals outside of their official roles; often, sensitive or personal.
    This book is her private journal.
    • 1968, Carl Ruhen, The Key Club, Sydney: Scripts, page 78:
      It was a very private thing, they felt, and not to be tossed indiscriminately about.
    • 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.
  3. Not publicly known or divulged; secret, confidential; (of a message) intended only for a specific person or group.
    The identity of the beneficiaries of the trust is private.
  4. Protected from view or disturbance by others; secluded; not publicly accessible.
    Can we go somewhere more private?
    • 1887, George H. Devol, Forty Years a Gambler on the Mississippi, page 58:
      I invited him to take breakfast with me; he accepted the invitation, and told me he would tell me about himself when we were in a more private place.
  5. Not in governmental office or employment.
    Military secrets should not be entrusted to unreliable private individuals.
  6. Secretive; reserved.
    He is a very private person.
  7. (finance) Not traded by the public.
    private equity
    • 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.
  8. Of a room in a medical facility, not shared with another patient.
  9. (UK, of schools) Financially reliant on fees rather than government funding.
  10. (not comparable, object-oriented programming) Accessible only to the class itself or instances of it, and not to other classes or even subclasses.
    Antonyms: public, published
  11. (philosophy) Of the mind or language, not in principle experienceable, knowable, or understandable by others.

Antonyms

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  • (antonym(s) of generally): public

Hyponyms

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Descendants

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  • Punjabi: ਪ੍ਰਾਈਵੇਟ (prāīveṭ)
  • Welsh: preifat

Translations

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun

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private (plural privates)

  1. A soldier of the lowest rank in the army.
  2. A doctor working in privately rather than publicly funded health care.
    • 1973, Health/PAC Bulletin, numbers 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, []
  3. (euphemistic, in the plural) The genitals.
  4. (obsolete) A secret message; a personal unofficial communication.
  5. (obsolete) Personal interest; particular business.
  6. (obsolete) Privacy; retirement.
  7. (obsolete) One not invested with a public office.
  8. (usually in the plural) A private lesson.
    If you want to learn ballet, consider taking privates.

Synonyms

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Translations

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Verb

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private (third-person singular simple present privates, present participle privating, simple past and past participle privated)

  1. (Internet, transitive) To make something hidden from the public (without deleting it permanently).
    • 2016 May 25, Geoff Weiss, “H3h3Productions Sued For Copyright Infringement By MattHossZone, Spotlighting Fraught Issue Of Fair Use”, in Tubefilter[1]:
      During these negotiations, however, the Kleins say that Hosseinzadeh issued a copyright takedown for the video — even after it had already been privated.
    • 2017 May 15, Rebecka Schumann, “Shay Carl’s Cam Girl Goes After Another Famous Man On YouTube”, in International Business Times[2]:
      Shay has also since briefly returned to social media, making a quick post on Instagram. His account was privated following his scandal in February and his Twitter remains inactive.
    • 2022 January 28, Jared Moore, “Hitman 3: Steam Owners Will Get Free Upgrades to Make Up for Shaky Launch”, in IGN[3]:
      "[] IOI had no part in privating the subreddit, this was entirely the decision of the moderators, and we are just fellow fans like you who volunteer our time to help out," a moderator wrote.
    • 2022 February 18, Sonja Smith-Yang, “I went viral on TikTok and it wasn’t what I expected”, in The Independent[4]:
      “Must be hard being a one-hit wonder,” a follower negged me once. “Actually, yes,” I joked in a now-privated video response. “Thank you for noticing.”

Derived terms

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Terms derived from the adjective or noun private

References

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  • private”, in 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, →OCLC.

Esperanto

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Etymology

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

Adverb

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private

  1. privately

German

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Pronunciation

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Adjective

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private

  1. inflection of privat:
    1. strong/mixed nominative/accusative feminine singular
    2. strong nominative/accusative plural
    3. weak nominative all-gender singular
    4. weak accusative feminine/neuter singular

Italian

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Adjective

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private

  1. feminine plural of privato

Verb

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private

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

Anagrams

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Latin

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Verb

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prīvāte

  1. second-person plural present active imperative of prīvō

Norwegian Bokmål

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Adjective

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private

  1. definite singular of privat
  2. plural of privat

Norwegian Nynorsk

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Adjective

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private

  1. definite singular of privat
  2. plural of privat

Spanish

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Verb

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private

  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of privar combined with te

Swedish

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Adjective

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private

  1. definite natural masculine singular of privat