I. adjective Etymology: Middle English privat, from Anglo-French, from Latin privatus, from past participle of privare to deprive, release, from privus private, individual; probably akin to Latin pro for, in front of — more at for Date: 14th century 1. a. intended for or restricted to the use of a particular person, group, or class <
a private park
b. belonging to or concerning an individual person, company, or interest <
a private house
c. (1) restricted to the individual or arising independently of others <
private opinion
(2) carried on by the individual independently of the usual institutions <
private study
a doctor in private practice
; also being educated by independent study or a tutor or in a private school <
private students
d. not general in effect <
a private statute
e. of, relating to, or receiving hospital service in which the patient has more privileges than a semiprivate or ward patient 2. a. (1) not holding public office or employment <
a private citizen
(2) not related to one's official position ; personal <
private correspondence
b. being a private <
a private soldier
3. a. withdrawn from company or observation ; sequestered <
a private retreat
b. not known or intended to be known publicly ; secret <
a private conversation
c. preferring to keep personal affairs to oneself ; valuing privacy highly d. unsuitable for public use or display 4. not having shares that can be freely traded on the open market <
a private company
privately adverbprivateness noun II. noun Date: 15th century 1. archaic one not in public office 2. obsolete privacy 3. plural private parts 4. a. a person of low rank in various organizations (as a police or fire department) b. an enlisted man of the lowest rank in the marine corps or of one of the two lowest ranks in the army

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • private — pri·vate adj 1 a: intended for or restricted to the use of a particular person or group or class of persons: not available to the public a private park b: not related to, controlled by, or deriving from the state a private school 2 a: owned by or …   Law dictionary

  • Private — Pri vate (?; 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) …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • private — [prī′vət] adj. [ME pryvat < L privatus, belonging to oneself, not to the state < privare, to separate, deprive < privus, separate, peculiar, prob. akin to OL pri: see PRIME] 1. of, belonging to, or concerning a particular person or… …   English World dictionary

  • Private — can refer to:* Privacy, the ability of a person to control the availability and path of information about himself or herself and exposure of himself or herself. * privately held companies * Private (rank), a military grade * Private (film), a… …   Wikipedia

  • private — ► ADJECTIVE 1) for or belonging to one particular person or group only. 2) (of a service or industry) provided by an individual or commercial company rather than the state. 3) (of thoughts, feelings, etc.) not to be shared or revealed. 4) (of a… …   English terms dictionary

  • Private — Pri vate (pr[imac] v[asl]t), n. 1. A secret message; a personal unofficial communication. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Personal interest; particular business.[Obs.] [1913 Webster] Nor must I be unmindful of my private. B. Jonson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • private — (adj.) late 14c., from L. privatus set apart, belonging to oneself (not to the state), used in contrast to publicus, communis; originally pp. stem of privare to separate, deprive, from privus one s own, individual, from Old L. pri before.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • private — [adj1] personal, intimate behind the scenes*, clandestine, closet*, close to one’s chest*, confidential, discreet, exclusive, hushed, hush hush*, independent, individual, inside, nonpublic, not open, off the record*, own, particular, privy*,… …   New thesaurus

  • private — [[t]pra͟ɪvɪt[/t]] ♦♦ privates 1) ADJ: usu ADJ n Private industries and services are owned or controlled by an individual person or a commercial company, rather than by the state or an official organization. ...a joint venture with private… …   English dictionary

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