What does PRIVATE mean?

Definitions for PRIVATE
ˈpraɪ vɪtpri·vate

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word PRIVATE.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. private, buck private, common soldieradjective

    an enlisted man of the lowest rank in the Army or Marines

    "our prisoner was just a private and knew nothing of value"

  2. privateadjective

    confined to particular persons or groups or providing privacy

    "a private place"; "private discussions"; "private lessons"; "a private club"; "a private secretary"; "private property"; "the former President is now a private citizen"; "public figures struggle to maintain a private life"

  3. privateadjective

    concerning things deeply private and personal

    "private correspondence"; "private family matters"

  4. individual(a), privateadjective

    concerning one person exclusively

    "we all have individual cars"; "each room has a private bath"

  5. secret, privateadjective

    not expressed

    "secret (or private) thoughts"


  1. privatenoun

    The lowest rank of the army.

  2. privatenoun

    A soldier of the rank of private.

  3. privatenoun

    (in plural privates) A euphemistic term for the genitals.

  4. privateadjective

    Belonging to, concerning, or accessible only to an individual person or a specific group.

    Her address is private, you can't have it.

  5. privateadjective

    Not in governmental office or employment.

    He quit public life, living quietly as a private citizen.

  6. privateadjective

    Not publicly known; not open; secret.

    The identity of the beneficiaries of the trust is private.

  7. privateadjective

    Protected from view or disturbance by others; secluded.

    Can we go someplace more private?

  8. privateadjective

    Intended only for the use of an individual, group, or organization.

    private papers

  9. privateadjective

    Not accessible by the public.

    private property.

  10. privateadjective

    Not traded by the public.

    private corporation.

  11. privateadjective

    Secretive; reserved.

    He is a very private person.

  12. privateadjective

    Not shared with another patient.

  13. privateadjective

    Pertaining to the genitalia.

    private parts.

  14. Etymology: From privatus, perfect passive participle of privo, from privus.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PRIVATEadjective

    Etymology: privatus, Lat.

    You shall go with me;
    I have some private schooling for you both. William Shakespeare.

    Fancy retires
    Into her private cell, when nature rests. John Milton.

    The harmless freedom, and the private friend. Anon.

    When publick consent of the whole hath established any thing, every man’s judgment, being thereunto compared, were not private, howsoever his calling be to some kind of publick charge; so that of peace and quietness there is not any way possible, unless the probable voice of every intire society or body politic overrule all private of like nature in the same body. Richard Hooker, Preface.

    He sues
    To let him breathe between the heav’ns and earth,
    A private man in Athens. William Shakespeare, Ant. and Cleop.

    What infinite heartease must kings neglect,
    That private men enjoy? and what have kings,
    That private have not too, save ceremony? William Shakespeare.

    Peter was but a private man, and not to be any way compared with the dukes of his house. Henry Peacham, of Antiquities.

    The first principles of christian religion should not be farced with school points and private tenets. Robert Sanderson.

    Dare you,
    A private man presume to love a queen. Dryden.

    My end being private, I have not expressed my conceptions in the language of the schools. Digby.

    In private grieve, but with a careless scorn;
    In publick seem to triumph, not to mourn. George Granville.

  2. Privatenoun

    A secret message.

    His private with me of the dauphin’s love,
    Is much more general than these lines import. William Shakespeare.


  1. Private

    Private is a song by Australian singer songwriter Vera Blue, released on 17 February 2017 as the lead single from her second studio album, Perennial (2017). Vera Blue told Triple J the song was written in April 2016 and is about "that fantasy of wanting someone you can't have… I find that's something everyone can relate to. There's that frustration from not being able to have something whether you fall for a friend or a celebrity..."


  1. private

    Private generally refers to something that is not open or accessible to the public, but instead limited to a specific individual, group, or organization. It can also indicate something that is personal, confidential, or not meant to be shared or disclosed publicly. This term can apply to various contexts, including private property, private information, private conversations, or private organizations.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Privateadjective

    belonging to, or concerning, an individual person, company, or interest; peculiar to one's self; unconnected with others; personal; one's own; not public; not general; separate; as, a man's private opinion; private property; a private purse; private expenses or interests; a private secretary

  2. Privateadjective

    sequestered from company or observation; appropriated to an individual; secret; secluded; lonely; solitary; as, a private room or apartment; private prayer

  3. Privateadjective

    not invested with, or engaged in, public office or employment; as, a private citizen; private life

  4. Privateadjective

    not publicly known; not open; secret; as, a private negotiation; a private understanding

  5. Privateadjective

    having secret or private knowledge; privy

  6. Privatenoun

    a secret message; a personal unofficial communication

  7. Privatenoun

    personal interest; particular business

  8. Privatenoun

    privacy; retirement

  9. Privatenoun

    one not invested with a public office

  10. Privatenoun

    a common soldier; a soldier below the grade of a noncommissioned officer

  11. Privatenoun

    the private parts; the genitals

  12. Etymology: [L. privatus apart from the state, peculiar to an individual, private, properly p. p. of privare to bereave, deprive, originally, to separate, fr. privus single, private, perhaps originally, put forward (hence, alone, single) and akin to prae before. See Prior, a., and cf. Deprive, Privy, a.]


  1. Private

    A private is a soldier of the lowest military rank. In modern military parlance, 'private' is shortened to 'Pte' in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries and to 'Pvt.' in the United States.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Private

    prī′vāt, adj. apart from the state: not invested with public office: peculiar to one's self: belonging to an individual person or company: not public: retired from observation: secret: not publicly known: not holding a commission.—n. a common soldier: (Shak.) a person without public office, a secret message, privacy, retirement.—adv. Prī′vately.—n. Prī′vateness.—Private act, &c., an act, &c., which deals with the concerns of private persons—opp. to General act, &c.; Private judgment, the judgment of an individual, esp. on the meaning of a passage or doctrine of Scripture, as distinguished from the interpretation of the church; Private law, that part of law which deals with the rights and duties of persons quâ individuals; Private legislation, legislation affecting the interests of private persons; Private parts, the sexual organs; Private property, rights, the property, rights of individual persons, as distinguished from that which belongs to a public body and is devoted to public use; Private trust, a trust managed in the interest of private parties; Private wrong, an injury done to an individual in his private capacity.—In private, privately, in secret; The private (obs.), the private life of individuals. [L. privatus, pa.p. of privāre, to separate—privus, single.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. private

    The proper designation of a soldier serving in the ranks of the army, holding no special position.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. private

    The title applied in the British army to a common soldier of the cavalry and infantry; the corresponding rank in the artillery being gunner or driver, and in the engineers, the sapper. A private in the cavalry is sometimes called a trooper. In the U. S. army all the soldiers who are below the grade of non-commissioned officers are called privates.

Editors Contribution

  1. private

    Belonging to a person and able to view, see or access with their consent.

    Many people have private social media accounts as they value their privacy.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 3, 2020  

  2. private

    Belonging to a specific person or people.

    If we own a property it is private and not meant to be accessed by anyone unless they have permission.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 10, 2020  

  3. private

    Relating to a person and for agreement or discussion direct with this specific person.

    His news is private and is just for discussion with those he chooses.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 10, 2020  

  4. private

    To ensure authorized access.

    The personal data of employees is private.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 16, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. private

    Song lyrics by private -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by private on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Private is ranked #61123 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Private surname appeared 329 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Private.

    82% or 270 total occurrences were White.
    4.5% or 15 total occurrences were Asian.
    4.2% or 14 total occurrences were Black.
    3.9% or 13 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    3.6% or 12 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.5% or 5 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'PRIVATE' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #536

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'PRIVATE' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1081

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'PRIVATE' in Adjectives Frequency: #63

How to pronounce PRIVATE?

How to say PRIVATE in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of PRIVATE in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of PRIVATE in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of PRIVATE in a Sentence

  1. Katie Moussouris:

    Open-source software suffers from chronic underinvestment in security, much like most private companies, today's threats like Log4j represent the global frontier of complexity this board is poised to analyze to the benefit of all.

  2. Hunter Biden:

    The fact is that Holmes Lybrand's already cost the American people because of Holmes Lybrand terrible handling of the Covid virus and economic spillover. Ten million people have lost their private insurance.

  3. Bayern Munich:

    It was a difficult situation, playing without fans, without atmosphere in the stadium, it wasnt just the specific nature of football. It was also in our private life. This was something new.

  4. Melania Trump:

    Be Best will continue to shine a light on successful programs like MATER that demonstrate positive results for children. Over the past year, I have traveled both nationally and internationally -- learning about many of the programs offered through private organizations, schools and hospitals, which are meant to help children and families as they deal with drug addiction, what I consistently hear is the need for support at all levels.

  5. Madan Prasad Pariyar:

    The private sector must be brought into these projects in the beginning, and planning done between them, traders and the farmers.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for PRIVATE

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"PRIVATE." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/PRIVATE>.

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