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

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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

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 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, "Over a Dozen Black and Latino Men Accused a Cop of Humiliating, Invasive Strip Searches. The NYPD Kept Promoting Him.," 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, "The Marvel Cinematic Universe Pays Tribute To Its King, Chadwick Boseman," 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, "I Was Diagnosed With Cancer During My 4th Trimester," 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, "Nissan Said to Plan $2.8 Billion in Cost Cuts, Book Charges," 18 May 2020 On the Ridge, Jamie, Fergus, Keziah, and Josiah are digging a privy when there is an explosion in the distance. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Outlander recap: Every time we say goodbye...," 4 May 2020 The novel is also generally agreed to be Austen's finest technical achievement in the use of free-indirect discourse—the narrator's sly method for making readers privy to a character's inner monologue. Ted Scheinman, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Autumn de Wilde’s ‘Emma’ Gets Right About Jane Austen’s Irony," 5 Mar. 2020 By mid-morning Wednesday, those officials, privy to initial assessments, told USA TODAY that the lack of casualties and relatively minor damage to tents, a helicopter and a hangar were probably intended as a warning that worse could be in store. Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, "Did Iran mean to kill Americans in its Iraq attack? The answer hints at how far Iran will go to challenge US," 12 Jan. 2020 Today's tight ends are privy in the art of blocking while mastering perplex route concepts from a flex position. Shelby Dermer, Cincinnati.com, "Covington Catholic's Michael Mayer a 'can't-miss player' for Notre Dame football," 18 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Keep in mind that Lyft and Uber are not privy to some unique technology. Steven Higashide, The New Republic, "Uber and Lyft Are Charging Through Washington’s Revolving Door," 25 Sep. 2020 Prime members are privy to tons of exclusive deals each month, along with tons of other perks like fast and free shipping on eligible products. Alex Warner, PEOPLE.com, "Amazon Secretly Dropped Thousands of Home Deals — Here Are 22 Worth Shopping," 22 Sep. 2020 Archaeologists will dig up the site of the backyard, hoping to discover the location of the privy; ancient toilets can be treasure troves for researchers. Washington Post, "A rediscovered log cabin showcases one of Maryland’s forgotten Black communities," 17 Sep. 2020 With one a member of the group and the other a casual observer, the reader is privy to more than just one character’s motives and observations. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "Review: Ruth Ware brings chills with isolated locked door mystery 'One by One'," 9 Sep. 2020 In Delray Beach on Friday afternoon, multiple drivers on Interstate 95 were privy to quite a spectacle when two young women sped down the highway while waving a gun outside the car’s sunroof. Brooke Baitinger, sun-sentinel.com, "Drivers on I-95 report seeing a gun waving from an SUV’s sunroof," 4 Sep. 2020 Archaeologists will dig up the site of the backyard, hoping to discover the location of the privy; ancient toilets can be treasure troves for researchers. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "‘A little underdog’: A rediscovered log cabin with a mysterious past in Hagerstown showcases a forgotten Black community," 30 Aug. 2020 The pace of insider selling could be a warning sign for the booming market because insiders, by definition, are privy to more information about the true health of their companies than average investors. Matt Egan, CNN, "CEOs are selling stock. That could be a bad sign for the epic market rally," 17 Aug. 2020 In my opinion, the kids don’t need to be privy to any of this. Star Tribune, "Ex-etiquette: Wife's ex badmouths him to her kids," 14 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for privy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for privy

Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Privy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/privy. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for privy

privy

noun
How to pronounce privy (audio)

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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Comments on privy

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