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
2a : secrecy
b : a private matter : secret
3 archaic : a place of seclusion

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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 state is not reporting school-level data, citing privacy concerns. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Hank Aaron, skeptic’s mea culpa, vaccine campouts: News from around our 50 states," 6 Jan. 2021 People were worried about privacy concerns and 'Big Brother' controls. CBS News, "The threats arising from the massive SolarWinds hack," 3 Jan. 2021 The American Civil Liberties Union has sought to block the plane’s use, citing privacy concerns. Emily Opilo,, "Baltimore mayor says spy plane can fly elsewhere," 28 Dec. 2020 In 2017, Padilla rejected requests by Trump’s voter fraud commission for access to detailed voter information from the state, citing privacy concerns. Patrick Mcgreevy, Los Angeles Times, "Meet Alex Padilla, California’s first Latino U.S. senator and a rising political star since his 20s," 22 Dec. 2020 He’s not the only Texas Republican stoking privacy concerns related to the vaccine. Elizabeth Thompson, Dallas News, "Feds need COVID-19 vaccine data to track safety and fairness but some skeptics fret about privacy," 19 Dec. 2020 Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said the company will not release detailed findings of the investigation or the names of those fired, citing privacy concerns. Ryan J. Foley,, "Tyson fires 7 Iowa pork plant managers accused of betting on how many workers would get COVID-19," 17 Dec. 2020 Do people have privacy concerns about, effectively, the government making a list of what people have what vaccines? The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, "Transcript: The Vaccine Pipeline," 16 Dec. 2020 Google and other Big Tech companies such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Twitter have faced heightened scrutiny regarding antitrust investigations, privacy concerns, and online censorship. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "Texas files antitrust lawsuit against Google," 16 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for privacy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for privacy

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Privacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for privacy


How to pronounce privacy (audio)

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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Comments on privacy

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