private law


Definition of private law

: a branch of law concerned with private persons, property, and relationships — compare public law

Examples of private law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Matthews also worked as a federal prosecutor in San Diego before joining a private law firm in 2013. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trump nominates veteran prosecutor to seat on federal bench," 13 Sep. 2019 Another departed for a private law firm and has expressed reservations about the merits of the case. Adam Goldman, New York Times, "Justice Dept. Rejects Andrew McCabe’s Bid to Avoid Charges," 12 Sep. 2019 Ed Burke, 14th, is the powerful Chicago Democrat who got rich in his private law practice, lowering property taxes for the well-connected, while also running the city’s Finance Committee for some 40 years. John Kass,, "Column: Chicagoans aren’t born cynics. We’ve just had it beaten into us from birth with stories like this one.," 13 Sep. 2019 His decision to leave the court entirely and return to private law practice was based on a desire to spend more time and offer more support to his family -- in particular his daughters, two of whom are expecting children, according to an associate. Edmund H. Mahony,, "Federal Judge Christopher Droney to leave U.S. Circuit Court for position with Hartford law firm," 27 Aug. 2019 Jones currently works for the practice of John Edwards Jones, a private law firm based in Casselberry, according to The Florida Bar. Grace Toohey,, "Lawyer drops bid for Seminole County judge seat days before arrest in statutory rape of teen," 11 Sep. 2019 According to the American Bar Association, women made up 22.7 percent of partners in private law firms. al, "Women outnumber men for first time in first-year class at UA law school," 23 Aug. 2019 Lewandowski worked a few years with private law firms but has spent most of his legal career working for the ethics agency on projects attracting little public notice. Jon Lender,, "Jon Lender: New state ethics director chosen for shrinking watchdog agency," 25 July 2019 Garza had a successful private law practice and spent his leisure time getting his golf handicap into the single digits, his family told the Chronicle in 2017. Natalie Weber, Houston Chronicle, "Man sentenced in fatal shooting of Houston attorney in disabled parking spot dispute," 1 Aug. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of private law

1773, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about private law

Statistics for private law

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for private law

The first known use of private law was in 1773

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for private law

private law


Legal Definition of private law

: a branch of law concerned with private persons, property, and relationships — compare public law

More from Merriam-Webster on private law

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with private law Encyclopedia article about private law

Comments on private law

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


concealed or difficult to comprehend

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!