pri·​va·​cy | \ ˈprī-və-sē How to pronounce privacy (audio) , especially British ˈpri-\
plural privacies

Definition of privacy

1a : the quality or state of being apart from company or observation : seclusion
b : freedom from unauthorized intrusion one's right to privacy
2 archaic : a place of seclusion
3a : secrecy
b : a private matter : secret

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Examples of privacy in a Sentence

She went upstairs for some privacy. Celebrities have a right to privacy.

Recent Examples on the Web

The first child of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was born on Monday 6 May, and the family have been enjoying some quiet time and all-important privacy at their home in Frogmore Cottage since the arrival. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Here's When Kate Middleton and Prince William Will Meet Baby Archie Harrison," 14 May 2019 Because the clients don’t need privacy, Dina tossed the floral valance and opted to leave the windows bare. Jennifer Blaise Kramer, House Beautiful, "Now This Is How You Update a '90s, Cookie-Cutter House," 14 May 2019 All five members of the Federal Trade Commission told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee that Congress should pass a law addressing data privacy. Ryan Tracy And John D. Mckinnon, WSJ, "Lawmakers Differ on Remedies for Facebook Privacy Breach," 8 May 2019 Harry defends his girlfriend After almost six months of blissful privacy, tabloids caught wind of the budding royal romance in the fall. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "A Timeline of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Relationship," 8 May 2019 The ThinkPad will automatically enable the privacy feature when the laptop can see anyone trying to read over your shoulder. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Lenovo puts AMD Ryzen chips in ThinkPads, giving Intel's rival a boost," 8 May 2019 Selleck has been careful to balance his stardom with a devotion to family life and privacy. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Tom Selleck Is Writing a Memoir About His Extremely Private Life," 13 Apr. 2019 Though the European Union enacted strict new privacy laws this May, the US is still struggling with the question of how exactly to protect American users’ data. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "11 pieces of clothing that explain 2018," 20 Dec. 2018 Prince William and Kate Middleton have taken a bold new step to ensure their privacy, planting a 950-feet-long hedge of 600 laurel trees on their property at Kensington Palace in a move that will block the view of photographers and fans alike. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince William and Kate Middleton Plant a 950-Foot Hedge at Kensington Palace to Protect Their Privacy," 7 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'privacy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of privacy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for privacy

Last Updated

18 May 2019

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Time Traveler for privacy

The first known use of privacy was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for privacy



English Language Learners Definition of privacy

: the state of being alone : the state of being away from other people
: the state of being away from public attention


pri·​va·​cy | \ ˈprī-və-sē How to pronounce privacy (audio) \

Kids Definition of privacy

1 : the state of being out of the sight and hearing of other people I went to my room for some privacy.
2 : freedom from intrusion My parents respect my privacy.



Legal Definition of privacy

: freedom from unauthorized intrusion : state of being let alone and able to keep certain especially personal matters to oneself — see also expectation of privacy, invasion of privacy, privacy interest at interest sense 3b, right of privacy, Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade

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More from Merriam-Webster on privacy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for privacy

Spanish Central: Translation of privacy

Nglish: Translation of privacy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of privacy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on privacy

What made you want to look up privacy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that collects or salvages junk

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