privy

1 of 2

adjective

1
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
privily adverb

privy

2 of 2

noun

plural privies
1
a
: 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

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
And parents are not immediately privy to what was included and omitted from their final report. Hannah Dreyfus, ProPublica, 30 Sep. 2022 Readers are privy to all of Ankler’s musings for a $17 monthly subscription (or $149 a year). Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 But the rapper saw it as an attempt to push her into sharing a conversation that the Shade Room moderators were not privy to, which could land her in legal trouble without the proper consent. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 11 July 2022 North Rim visitors are still privy to the breathtaking canyon views that define one of the most popular U.S. national parks. Laura Randall, Washington Post, 18 May 2022 But American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin said more transparency could also help advocates who want to push for more public health funding but haven’t been privy to the documentation provided privately to Congress. Rachel Cohrs, STAT, 5 Mar. 2022 Benn spent a lot of time acting behind Elordi and was often privy to conversations between him and Levinson about timing, line delivery and other tricks of the trade. Los Angeles Times, 25 Feb. 2022 Employees are not privy to confidential information, including financial statements, shareholder lists, and other material non-public documents. Anat Alon-beck, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 For now, Stall said, Rhodes still has the support of people on the periphery of the movement - those who approve of his stances but are not privy to his actions. Hannah Allam, Spencer S. Hsu, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Sep. 2021
Noun
Meanwhile, a separate series of texts revealed the administration of Texas Governor Greg Abbott was privy to the plan. Samantha J. Gross, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Nov. 2022 And while the documentary explored various aspects of the case, including information Serial listeners weren't privy to, the timeline of Adnan Syed's case remains the same. Sabrina Rojas Weiss, refinery29.com, 20 Sep. 2022 Customers are not privy to this information and do not know where their data goes, how it is handled and by whom. Tony Fitzgibbon, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2022 Waters said Detroiters deserve to be privy to whether dining establishments have met compliance standards. Detroit Free Press, 2 Nov. 2022 The nonprofits, as parties to the consent agreement, will be privy to future developments. Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 12 Sep. 2022 The farmers aren’t privy to all of the district’s negotiating tactics, but are trying to organize among themselves to avoid having cuts foisted on them, Cox said. Kathleen Ronayne, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Sep. 2022 As the heir apparent and then queen, Elizabeth was perhaps not privy to all the sordid details of the operations carried out to preserve her empire after the end of World War II and through the 1960s. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2022 Genson himself met with Jane, but shooed McDavid out of the room, so McDavid was not privy to their talk. Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune, 8 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Noun

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

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Noun

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near privy

Cite this Entry

“Privy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/privy. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

privy 1 of 2

adjective

1
2
3
: sharing in a secret
privy to the conspiracy

privy

2 of 2

noun

plural privies
1
: a small building without plumbing used as a toilet
2

Legal Definition

plural privies
: 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

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