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



    Old French privé ( “private” ), from Latin privatus ( “deprived” ). More at private


    • IPA: /ˈpɹɪ.vi/, X-SAMPA: /"pr\Ivi/


    privy ( comparative more privy, superlative most privy )

    1. ( now chiefly historical ) Private, exclusive; that is one's own .
      The king retreated to his privy chamber .
    2. ( now rare, archaic ) Secret, hidden, concealed.
    3. With knowledge of; party to; let in on .
      He was privy to the discussions .


    privy ( plural: privies )

    1. an outdoor toilet; latrine; earth closet; john; johnny house .
    2. ( law ) A partaker; one having an interest in an action, contract, etc. to which he is not himself a party .
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Explanation of privy by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. informed about something secret or not generally known

    2. privy to the details of the conspiracy
    3. hidden from general view or use

    4. a privy place to rest and think
    1. a small outbuilding with a bench having holes through which a user can defecate

    2. a room or building equipped with one or more toilets

    Definition of privy by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Privy a. [F. privé, fr. L. privatus. See Private.]

      1. Of or pertaining to some person exclusively; assigned to private uses; not public; private; as, “the privy purse”. “ Privee knights and squires.” Chaucer.

      2. Secret; clandestine. “ A privee thief.” Chaucer.

      3. Appropriated to retirement; private; not open to the public. “ Privy chambers.” Ezek. xxi. 14.

      4. Admitted to knowledge of a secret transaction; secretly cognizant; privately knowing.

      His wife also being privy to it. Acts v. 2.

      Myself am one made privy to the plot. Shak.

      Privy chamber, a private apartment in a royal residence. [Eng.] -- Privy council ( Eng. Law ), the principal council of the sovereign, composed of the cabinet ministers and other persons chosen by the king or queen. Burrill. -- Privy councilor, a member of the privy council. -- Privy purse, moneys set apart for the personal use of the monarch; also, the title of the person having charge of these moneys. [Eng.] Macaulay. -- Privy seal or Privy signet, the seal which the king uses in grants, etc., which are to pass the great seal, or which he uses in matters of subordinate consequence which do not require the great seal; also, elliptically, the principal secretary of state, or person intrusted with the privy seal. [Eng.] -- Privy verdict, a verdict given privily to the judge out of court; -- now disused. Burrill.

    2. Privy, n.; pl. Privies
      1. ( Law ) A partaker; a person having an interest in any action or thing; one who has an interest in an estate created by another; a person having an interest derived from a contract or conveyance to which he is not himself a party. The term, in its proper sense, is distinguished from party. Burrill. Wharton.

      2. A necessary house or place for performing excretory functions in private; an outhouse; a backhouse.