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 Digitizing currencies is not an easy proposition, and raises questions around accessibility, privacy, and what architecture to use. Carlos Mureithi, Quartz, 1 June 2021 Citing ongoing investigations, privacy, and other grounds, the administration has also failed to provide documents in response to more than 10 public records requests by the Globe related to Walsh’s hiring and tenure., 21 May 2021 The privacy policy change was announced last year and was originally set to be implemented on February 8th. Chris Smith, BGR, 19 May 2021 Perhaps most alarming of all is the escalating hostility between Apple and Facebook over Apple's data privacy change. Alex Lazovsky, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Critics often cite ethical concerns with BCI: loss of privacy, identity, agency and consent. Quanta Magazine, 17 May 2021 Facebook appears to be bracing itself over Apple's recent privacy change that could affect the social media giant's bottom line. Terry Collins, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2021 Facebook has tried to tout the benefits of data collection ahead of Apple's privacy change. Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN, 26 Apr. 2021 Others say stronger oversight will help build public trust in AI systems, which have inflamed tensions over data privacy, consumer protection and misuse—especially in areas like facial recognition. Angus Loten, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2021

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

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Privacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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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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