Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of private
Meaning of private by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Latin prīvātus ( “bereaved; set apart from” ), perfect passive participle of prīvō ( “I bereave, deprive” ), from prīvus ( “single, peculiar” ) .


    • IPA: /ˈpɹaɪvɪt/
    • Hyphenation: pri‧vate


    private ( comparative more private, superlative most private )

    1. Belonging to, concerning, or accessible only to an individual person or a specific group .
      Her address is private, you can't have it .
    2. Not in governmental office or employment .
      He quit public life, living quietly as a private citizen .
    3. Not publicly known; not open; secret .
      The identity of the beneficiaries of the trust is private .
    4. Protected from view or disturbance by others; secluded .
      Can we go someplace more private?
    5. Intended only for the use of an individual, group, or organization .
      private papers
    6. Not accessible by the public .
      private property .
    7. Not traded by the public .
      private corporation .
    8. Secretive; reserved .
      He is a very private person .
    9. ( US, of a room in a medical facility ) Not shared with another patient .
    10. Pertaining to the genitalia .
      private parts .




    private ( plural: privates )

    1. The lowest rank of the army .
    2. A soldier of the rank of private .
    3. ( in plural: privates ) A euphemistic term for the genitals .



Explanation of private by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. not expressed

    2. secret ( or private ) thoughts
    3. concerning one person exclusively

    4. each room has a private bath
    5. concerning things deeply private and personal

    6. private correspondence
      private family matters
    7. confined to particular persons or groups or providing privacy

    8. a private place
      private discussions
      private lessons
      a private club
      a private secretary
      private property
      the former President is now a private citizen
      public figures struggle to maintain a private life
    1. an enlisted man of the lowest rank in the Army or Marines

    2. our prisoner was just a private and knew nothing of value

    Definition of private by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Private ( ?; 48 ), a. [L. privatus apart from the state, peculiar to an individual, private, properly p. p. of privare to bereave, deprive, originally, to separate, fr. privus single, private, perhaps originally, put forward ( hence, alone, single ) and akin to prae before. See Prior, a., and cf. Deprive, Privy, a.]
      1. Belonging to, or concerning, an individual person, company, or interest; peculiar to one's self; unconnected with others; personal; one's own; not public; not general; separate; as, “a man's private opinion; private property; a private purse; private expenses or interests; a private secretary.”

      2. Sequestered from company or observation; appropriated to an individual; secret; secluded; lonely; solitary; as, “a private room or apartment; private prayer.”

      Reason . . . then retires

      Into her private cell when nature rests. Milton.

      3. Not invested with, or engaged in, public office or employment; as, “a private citizen; private life.” Shak.

      A private person may arrest a felon. Blackstone.

      4. Not publicly known; not open; secret; as, “a private negotiation; a private understanding.”

      5. Having secret or private knowledge; privy. [Obs.]

      Private act or Private statute, a statute exclusively for the settlement of private and personal interests, of which courts do not take judicial notice; -- opposed to a general law, which operates on the whole community. In the United States Congress, similar private acts are referred to as private law and a general law as a public law. -- Private nuisance or wrong. See Nuisance. -- Private soldier. See Private, n., 5. -- Private way, a right of private passage over another man's ground; also, a road on private land, contrasted with public road, which is on a public right of way. Kent.

    2. Private ( prīvat ), n.
      1. A secret message; a personal unofficial communication. [Obs.] Shak.

      2. Personal interest; particular business.[Obs.]

      Nor must I be unmindful of my private. B. Jonson.

      3. Privacy; retirement. [Archaic] “Go off; I discard you; let me enjoy my private.” Shak.

      4. One not invested with a public office. [Archaic]

      What have kings, that privates have not too? Shak.

      5. ( Mil. ) A common soldier; a soldier below the grade of a noncommissioned officer. Macaulay.

      6. pl. The private parts; the genitals.

      In private, secretly; not openly or publicly.