- 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.
- Not accessible by the public.
- 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.
- 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.
- Protected from view or disturbance by others; secluded.
Can we go somewhere more private?
- 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.
- Secretive; reserved.
He is a very private person.
- (US, of a room in a medical facility) Not shared with another patient.
- (done in the view of others): secluded
- (intended only for one's own use): personal
- (not accessible by the public):
belonging to, concerning, or accessible only to an individual person or a specific group
not accessible by the public
not in governmental office or employment
not publicly known; not open; secret
protected from view or disturbance by others; secluded
- 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.
Translations to be checked
private (plural privates)
- The lowest rank of the army.
- A soldier of the rank of private.
- (in plural privates) A euphemistic term for the genitals.
- (obsolete) A secret message; a personal unofficial communication.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
- (obsolete) Personal interest; particular business.
- Ben Jonson
- Nor must I be unmindful of my private.
- Ben Jonson
- (obsolete) Privacy; retirement.
- Go off; I discard you; let me enjoy my private.
- (obsolete) One not invested with a public office.
- What have kings, that privates have not too?
- (usually in the plural) A private lesson.
- If you want to learn ballet, consider taking privates.
euphemisms for genitals
Terms derived from the adjective or noun private
Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: agree · sit · considerable · #767: private · dinner · command · etc.
- feminine plural past participle of privare
- second-person plural indicative present of privare
- second-person plural imperative of privare