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adjective pri·vate \ˈprī-vət\

Simple Definition of private

  • : for the use of a single person or group : belonging to one person or group : not public

  • : not relating to a person's official position or job

  • : not known by the public or by other people

Full Definition of private

  1. 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 <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. 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

  3. 3 a :  withdrawn from company or observation <a private retreat> b :  not known or intended to be known publicly :  secret c :  preferring to keep personal affairs to oneself :  valuing privacy highly d :  unsuitable for public use or display

  4. 4 :  not having shares that can be freely traded on the open market <a private company>

pri·vate·ly adverb
pri·vate·ness noun

Examples of private

  1. It was the first time many had seen works from the artist's private collection.

  2. At work he was always very serious, but in his private life, he was actually very funny and relaxed.

  3. Please keep all my personal information private.

  4. He's a very private person.

Origin of private

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

First Known Use: 14th century



noun pri·vate

Simple Definition of private

  • : a person of the lowest rank in the U.S. or British Army or the U.S. Marines

Full Definition of private

  1. 1 archaic :  one not in public office

  2. 2 obsolete :  privacy

  3. 3 plural :  private parts

  4. 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

in private
  1. :  not openly or in public

15th Century

First Known Use of private

15th century

Medical Dictionary


adjective pri·vate \ˈprī-vət\

Medical Definition of private

  1. 1:  of, relating to, or receiving hospital service in which the patient has more privileges than a semiprivate or ward patient

  2. 2:  of, relating to, or being private practice <a private office> <a private practitioner>

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February 10, 2016

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