priv·​et | \ ˈpri-vət How to pronounce privet (audio) \

Definition of privet

: a Eurasian deciduous shrub (Ligustrum vulgare) of the olive family with semievergreen leaves and small white flowers that is widely used for hedges broadly : any of various shrubs of the same genus

Examples of privet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The branches become smothered in frothy, white blooms which, unfortunately, smell very much like privet blooms. Washington Post, "A lesson from Miss Kim: Give other lilac species a try," 5 June 2019 Behind the privet hedge, besides the daffodils There’s pansies, thyme, and rosemary. Ciaran Carson, The New Yorker, "Claude Monet, “The Artist’s Garden at Vétheuil,” 1880," 12 Aug. 2019 Baby Doe had played among the pines and oaks of New England; she was dusted with traces of privet hedges and cedar-of-Lebanon, which are not native but are often planted in the suburbs. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "Forensic pollen scientists are helping the US track opioids," 6 June 2019 Florida privet, Forestiera segregata, can be employed as a privacy hedge, and has the native advantage. Kenneth Setzer, miamiherald, "Need to screen off your neighbors? Here's how to grow a green privacy barrier," 27 June 2018 Intensely private behind their walls of privet, genteel and yes, primarily gentile, the club system continues to thrive in the Hamptons, in spite of the headwinds of social change or supposed dearth of clubbable types. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "High Society Photographer Bert Morgan Chronicled the Hamptons' Smart Set Before Everything Changed," 13 June 2018 Antique silver vessels from Chezar’s Zonneveld Farm were filled with white roses of every variety, accompanied by lily of the valley, ranunculus, tulips, and surprising elements such as blue berries of privet and viburnum. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "A Romantic Wedding Weekend at the Wheatleigh Hotel in the Berkshires," 6 June 2018 Greenery such as eucalyptus leaves, privet berries, and pieris relate to the virescent forms on each book cover. Jennifer Fernandez, ELLE Decor, "A Simple Centerpiece Is The Secret To This Lush Spring Table," 27 Apr. 2017 Japanese privet grows to be 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "Volunteering is great but 'volunteer' plants are a whole different story," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'privet.' 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 privet

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for privet

origin unknown

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Statistics for privet

Last Updated

27 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for privet

The first known use of privet was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of privet

: a bush with green leaves that is often used for hedges


priv·​et | \ ˈpri-vət How to pronounce privet (audio) \

Kids Definition of privet

: a shrub with small white flowers that is often used for hedges

More from Merriam-Webster on privet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with privet Encyclopedia article about privet

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