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

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Other Words from privy

Adjective

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for privy

Synonyms: Adjective

behind-the-scenes, confidential, esoteric, hush-hush, hushed, inside, intimate, nonpublic, private, secret

Antonyms: Adjective

common, open, public

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The bar will also offer desserts as well as whiskey lockers for members who will be privy to special events and tasting dinners. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "New restaurants, bar coming to RenCen's old Coach Insignia space: Details revealed," 23 Aug. 2019 The officials, who were privy to discussions, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential business dealings. Rachel Chason, Washington Post, "Warehouse that was opposed by residents will not be built in Westphalia," 23 Aug. 2019 Only a small circle of executives at both organizations were privy to the discussions. Ken Belson, New York Times, "N.F.L. and Jay-Z Team Up on Music and Social Justice Campaign," 13 Aug. 2019 Though, the report details that Apple is usually privy to find what has gone missing and where to find it. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "How Apple factory workers steal pieces of new iPhones — and sometimes get away," 17 July 2019 Their near-immediate bond embodies the kind of alchemy that no writer could really be privy to. Emily Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "HBO’s Euphoria is two shows in one. One is bad. The other could be good.," 23 June 2019 Now, there’s a new addition to the garlic-peeling bag of tricks, one that some home cooks were not yet privy to. Melissa Locker, Time, "Intense Garlic Hack Has Captivated the Internet and People Have Never Been More Pumped to Peel," 17 June 2019 During his tenure on the Board, there has never once been a situation where Mr. Adamo has been privy to information that would provide his company with a competitive advantage. Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Concerns raised about contractors sitting on Detroit wrecking board," 9 July 2018 Attendees were privy to a look at the next Xbox console, which is being referred to as Project Scarlett. NBC News, "Dancing tomatoes and llama pinatas? This must be a gaming convention.," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At the time Szunyog's parents purchased the home, water came from a hand pump in the kitchen, gas lights and gas stoves furnished light and heat, and two privies provided sanitary needs. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland.com, "Preservationist Cynthia Szunyog lives for -- and in -- history: Medina County Local Legends," 2 Apr. 2018 At the time Szunyog's parents purchased the home, water came from a hand pump in the kitchen, gas lights and gas stoves furnished light and heat, and two privies provided sanitary needs. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland.com, "Preservationist Cynthia Szunyog lives for -- and in -- history: Medina County Local Legends," 2 Apr. 2018 City archaeologist Joe Bagley told WBZ that a find like this is important because people back in the colonial era threw a lot of stuff in their privies -- stuff that could give insight into their lives. CBS News, "Paul Revere's outhouse may have been dug up in Boston," 26 Sep. 2017 That's proven to be a boon for the profession because new excavations in privies have been flush with historical finds. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Excavations Begin on Paul Revere’s Privy," 27 Sep. 2017 During January’s Women’s March on Washington, for instance, that meant nearly 600 privies The Washington Post, The Denver Post, "Washington’s portable toilet industry is flush, thanks to Trump," 20 May 2017 The property has already given up artifacts including historic stone foundations for buildings, brick shafts and evidence of wooden box privies. Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post, "Centuries-old human remains found at Alexandria waterfront excavation," 19 May 2017 G.W. Babcock of Boise got the contract to build the courthouse for $38,225, without the six iron jail cells required by law, wells, pumps and outdoor privies, furniture or 15 iron stoves and pipe worth about $50 each. Arthur Hart, idahostatesman, "Ada County had to wait for its first real courthouse," 5 May 2017 MOUNT VERNON, Va. — The costumed characters at George Washington’s gracious estate here are used to handling all manner of awkward queries, whether about 18th-century privies or the first president’s teeth. Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, "In Search of the Slave Who Defied George Washington," 6 Feb. 2017

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.

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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

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Statistics for privy

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for privy

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

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More Definitions for privy

privy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of privy

old-fashioned : 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on privy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with privy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for privy

Spanish Central: Translation of privy

Nglish: Translation of privy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of privy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on privy

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concealment of treason or felony

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