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

This will have grave consequences for privacy, free expression and safety. The Economist, "Regulating Big Tech makes them stronger, so they need competition instead," 6 June 2019 Back then, the supreme court had even said that the deity had the right to keep its vow of celibacy under right to privacy. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Birds to holy rivers: A list of everything India considers “legal persons”," 6 June 2019 One of those consequences is forcing lobbying firms to reveal the salaries of their workers, which critics say is an unnecessary loss of privacy for the employer and the employee, Fulhorst said. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Proposal would tighten San Diego lobbyist disclosures to avoid unintended consequences," 5 June 2019 Just urging people to please respect the privacy of Jennifer’s family and friends. NBC News, "Husband of missing Connecticut woman and his girlfriend denied reduced bonds," 3 June 2019 The company moved the blockchain to an internal cloud to be able to control security and data privacy, Mr. Muthukrishnan said. Agam Shah, WSJ, "Honeywell Brings Blockchain to Used Aircraft Parts Market," 28 May 2019 Plus, with a home that has a little extra privacy, thanks to a lot of trees and a multi-million dollar renovation, sources say the energy at the Duke and Duchess's new abode is a breath of fresh air. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Cottage Smells Heavenly—Here's Why," 23 May 2019 Harry's lawyers reportedly told the high court that the property had specifically been chosen for its high levels of privacy, which could restrict photographers' access. Glamour, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Just Took a Big Step to Protect Their Privacy," 16 May 2019 All the familiar Bassani themes and polarities—to engage or not engage, the yearning for love and defense of privacy, fear and courage—are reshuffled and deployed for maximum effect. Tim Parks, Harper's magazine, "Behind the High Walls," 10 Feb. 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

15 Jun 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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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