What does privacy mean?

Definitions for privacy
ˈpraɪ və si; Brit. also ˈprɪv ə sipri·va·cy

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word privacy.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. privacy, privateness, seclusionnoun

    the quality of being secluded from the presence or view of others

  2. privacy, privateness, secrecy, concealmentnoun

    the condition of being concealed or hidden


  1. privacynoun

    The state of being private; the state of not being seen by others.

    I need my privacy, so please mind your own frigging business!

Webster Dictionary

  1. Privacynoun

    the state of being in retirement from the company or observation of others; seclusion

    Etymology: [See Private.]

  2. Privacynoun

    a place of seclusion from company or observation; retreat; solitude; retirement

    Etymology: [See Private.]

  3. Privacynoun

    concealment of what is said or done

    Etymology: [See Private.]

  4. Privacynoun

    a private matter; a secret

    Etymology: [See Private.]

  5. Privacynoun

    see Privity, 2

    Etymology: [See Private.]


  1. Privacy

    Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively. The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share basic common themes. Privacy is sometimes related to anonymity, the wish to remain unnoticed or unidentified in the public realm. When something is private to a person, it usually means there is something within them that is considered inherently special or personally sensitive. The degree to which private information is exposed therefore depends on how the public will receive this information, which differs between places and over time. Privacy partially intersects security, including for instance the concepts of appropriate use, as well as protection of information. Privacy may also take the form of bodily integrity. The right not to be subjected to unsanctioned invasion of privacy by the government, corporations or individuals is part of many countries' privacy laws, and in some cases, constitutions. Almost all countries have laws which in some way limit privacy; an example of this would be law concerning taxation, which normally require the sharing of information about personal income or earnings. In some countries individual privacy may conflict with freedom of speech laws and some laws may require public disclosure of information which would be considered private in other countries and cultures. Privacy may be voluntarily sacrificed, normally in exchange for perceived benefits and very often with specific dangers and losses, although this is a very strategic view of human relationships. Academics who are economists, evolutionary theorists, and research psychologists describe revealing privacy as a 'voluntary sacrifice', for instance by willing participants in sweepstakes or competitions. In the business world, a person may volunteer personal details in order to gamble on winning a prize. Personal information which is voluntarily shared but subsequently stolen or misused can lead to identity theft.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Privacy

    prī′va-si, or priv′-, n. state of being private or retired from company or observation: a place of seclusion: retreat: retirement: secrecy.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Privacy

    The state of being free from intrusion or disturbance in one's private life or affairs. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed, 1993)

Editors Contribution

  1. privacy

    Having our private life respected.

    Their privacy was important to them both.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 10, 2020  
  2. privacy

    The official right for a person to control and manage with personal authority the access to their personal data, information, computers, laptops, apps, server, devices, network, online accounts or handheld device.

    Privacy in life is a legislative right as our life is our privacy, we have freedom of expression and have the right to privacy.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 12, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'privacy' in Nouns Frequency: #2893

How to pronounce privacy?

How to say privacy in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of privacy in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of privacy in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of privacy in a Sentence

  1. The Chicago woman:

    When you enter a hotel room, you have an expectation of privacy and safety. In my case, both of these things were stolen from me. What happened to me is an incredible violation and should be treated as a sex crime.

  2. The CEO:

    Encryption is a powerful tool for privacy, but that includes the privacy of people doing bad things, when billions of people use a service to connect, some of them are going to misuse it for truly terrible things like child exploitation, terrorism, and extortion.

  3. Philip R. Zimmermann:

    If privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy.

  4. Joseph Atick:

    Governments need to have digital registers of their population to deliver services, (But) the threat to privacy is real. That is why we promote the development of data protection and privacy laws and frameworks before embracing digital identity.

  5. Paul Triolo:

    United States and China are in a long term struggle for dominating the technologies of the future, and part of that narrative is that China is using technologies such as AI in the service of government surveillance and in ways that go against Western values in terms of things like privacy.

Images & Illustrations of privacy

  1. privacyprivacyprivacyprivacyprivacy

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Translations for privacy

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    a small contrasting part of something
    • A. imperviousness
    • B. maculation
    • C. howdah
    • D. epiphora

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