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

Staff secretaries are also typically privy to information in the President’s Daily Briefing, a summary of intelligence on threats to the U.S., the former official said. Time, "Top Trump Aides Knew of Abuse Allegations Against Rob Porter: Report," 8 Feb. 2018 Staff secretaries are also typically privy to information in the President’s Daily Briefing, a summary of intelligence on threats to the U.S., the former official said. Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg.com, "Top White House Aides Knew of Abuse Allegations Against Porter," 7 Feb. 2018 But Saturday night, a select few were privy to another one of her ventures, the launch of Duncan, a line of women's ready-to-wear. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "A Flock of Cool Girls Celebrated the Launch of Womenswear Label Duncan," 11 Feb. 2019 According to a new report from People, based on interviews with several of Meghan's close friends (all of whom go unnamed in the story), there's a lot to the Meghan Markle and Thomas Markle drama that the public hasn't been privy to. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Letter to Her Dad, Thomas Markle, After the Royal Wedding Is Heart-Wrenching," 9 Feb. 2019 Officials privy to the discussions say buses and other traffic would travel south on Andrews Avenue and north on Third Avenue. Brittany Wallman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "With the Wave streetcar dead, how about one-way streets?," 6 July 2018 After that, everyone privy to the data is barred from publicly commenting on it until an hour after the figures are released. Sarah Ponczek, chicagotribune.com, "Trump Twitter risk adds a new wild card to Friday's jobs report," 5 July 2018 Finding Your Tribe Even for those privy to rich data, using a genetic-testing service as social network poses challenges. Alyson Krueger, New York Times, "Are Genetic Testing Sites the New Social Networks?," 16 June 2018 But nowadays even many ordinary workers, privy to no such knowledge, are being asked to sign such agreements. Alan S. Blinder, WSJ, "What to Do When the Labor Market Stops Working for Workers," 11 June 2018

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 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 When German tankards were broken and fine Chinese porcelain dropped on the floor, they were tossed into the privies for archaeologists to recover centuries later. Kristin Romey, National Geographic, "What a Toilet Shows About Life During the American Revolution," 1 July 2016

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

22 Mar 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

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