privy

adjective
\ ˈpri-vē How to pronounce privy (audio) \

Definition of privy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : belonging or relating to a person in one's individual rather than official capacity
3 : admitted as one sharing in a secret privy to the conspiracy

privy

noun
\ ˈpri-vē How to pronounce privy (audio) \
plural privies

Definition of privy (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a room or small building having a bench with holes through which the user may defecate or urinate
2 : a person having a legal interest of privity

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from privy

Adjective

privily \ ˈpri-​və-​lē How to pronounce privy (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for privy

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of privy in a Sentence

Adjective … there were no secrets in the little village to which he was not privy. — Sidney Sheldon, The Sands of Time, 1988 Halberstam and I and the other correspondents would have felt less beleaguered had we been privy to the secret debate in Washington. — Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie, 1988 … to assure you that I am neither privy to, nor cognizant of, any such clique; and that I most potently disbelieve in the existence of any such. — Abraham Lincoln, letter, 13 Oct. 1849 privy information on the current state of the peace negotiations privy meetings between high-level representatives from both sides for the purpose of bringing about an armistice
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The process, which not even federal prosecutors were privy to, ended with one lawyer being removed for unexplained reasons. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 23 June 2021 These members of King’s inner circle seem to speak a secret language of touch to which the viewer is not entirely privy. New York Times, 13 May 2021 Because of their dominant market positions, these technology companies are increasingly privy to vast amounts of data that is often useful in investigating, detecting and removing malicious cyber adversaries. Robert Mcmillan, WSJ, 25 Feb. 2021 That timeline may actually get expedited, even if the public won’t be privy to what’s happening. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Oct. 2020 Along the way, police leaders were privy to an ever-growing list of complaints against McCormack, signs that his harsh tactics and heated temperament were pushing the limits. ProPublica, 10 Sep. 2020 Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, none of his co-workers had been privy to his deteriorating health condition. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 31 Aug. 2020 As the 40-ish weeks of pregnancy pass, as active labour leads to delivery, and as those early days as a new parent meld groggily into one another, we’re made privy to some of life’s rawest moments. Sandy Jorgenson, refinery29.com, 19 May 2020 Nissan Warns of Losses, Delays Earnings Report Due to Pandemic The plans still need to be reviewed by Nissan’s board and may change, people privy to deliberations around the restructuring plan said. Reed Stevenson, Bloomberg.com, 18 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In addition to the pottery and other small items, archaeologists found the remains of a brick structure that may have been a hearth, privy or outbuilding, reports the Associated Press (AP). Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Sep. 2021 Participants may not be privy to reasonable fees, which should be below 1% for medium to larger sized plans. Brian Menickella, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 But, according to the Daily Mail, people watching the TV broadcast weren’t privy to what was happening in the stadium: That the audience reportedly started booing when Harry and Meghan appeared on-screen. Marie Claire Editors, Marie Claire, 12 Sep. 2021 There was a publishing blackout, a public messaging battle that took place across the podcast feed and Instagram, and Spurs-era Kawhi Leonard levels of behind-the-scenes politicking that audiences were only privy to in flashes and glimpses. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, 15 June 2021 My brother Andrew was neither involved with, nor privy to, my independent effort. New York Times, 15 June 2021 This is a revelation even many of the other members weren't privy to, much to the chagrin of Keeho. Devon Abelman, Allure, 20 Apr. 2021 When staffers at one center diagnose a sick bird, others another 40 miles up the road might not be privy to that information. Jennifer Clare Ball, Wired, 16 Aug. 2021 The acceptance of this transaction may be a surprise to some who are privy to Prospect’s financial health. BostonGlobe.com, 1 June 2021

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for privy

Adjective and Noun

Middle English prive, from Anglo-French privé, from Latin privatus private

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About privy

Time Traveler for privy

Time Traveler

The first known use of privy was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near privy

privity

privy

privy council

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for privy

Cite this Entry

“Privy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/privy. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for privy

privy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of privy

: a small outdoor building that is used as a toilet

privy

noun
\ ˈpri-vē How to pronounce privy (audio) \
plural privies

Kids Definition of privy

: a small building without plumbing used as a toilet

privy

noun
\ ˈpri-vē How to pronounce privy (audio) \
plural privies

Legal Definition of privy

: one having privity especially : one who acquires an interest in the subject matter (as property) of prior or pending litigation and is bound by the judgment as if he or she were a party to the action

History and Etymology for privy

Anglo-French privé, from Old French, intimate, confidant, from privé intimate, familiar, from Latin privatus private

More from Merriam-Webster on privy

Nglish: Translation of privy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of privy for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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