What does private mean?

Definitions for private
ˈpraɪ vɪtpri·vate

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. private, buck private, common soldier(adj)

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

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

  2. private(adj)

    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. private(adj)

    concerning things deeply private and personal

    "private correspondence"; "private family matters"

  4. individual(a), private(adj)

    concerning one person exclusively

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

  5. secret, private(adj)

    not expressed

    "secret (or private) thoughts"


  1. private(Noun)

    The lowest rank of the army.

  2. private(Noun)

    A soldier of the rank of private.

  3. private(Noun)

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

  4. private(Adjective)

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

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

  5. private(Adjective)

    Not in governmental office or employment.

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

  6. private(Adjective)

    Not publicly known; not open; secret.

    The identity of the beneficiaries of the trust is private.

  7. private(Adjective)

    Protected from view or disturbance by others; secluded.

    Can we go someplace more private?

  8. private(Adjective)

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

    private papers

  9. private(Adjective)

    Not accessible by the public.

    private property.

  10. private(Adjective)

    Not traded by the public.

    private corporation.

  11. private(Adjective)

    Secretive; reserved.

    He is a very private person.

  12. private(Adjective)

    Not shared with another patient.

  13. private(Adjective)

    Pertaining to the genitalia.

    private parts.

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

Webster Dictionary

  1. Private(adj)

    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. Private(adj)

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

  3. Private(adj)

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

  4. Private(adj)

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

  5. Private(adj)

    having secret or private knowledge; privy

  6. Private(noun)

    a secret message; a personal unofficial communication

  7. Private(noun)

    personal interest; particular business

  8. Private(noun)

    privacy; retirement

  9. Private(noun)

    one not invested with a public office

  10. Private(noun)

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

  11. Private(noun)

    the private parts; the genitals

  12. Origin: [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.

Suggested Resources

  1. private

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

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?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say private in sign language?

  1. private


  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. Chuck Schumer:

    Let's debate in private.

  2. Hassan Zavareei:

    It's a private family matter.

  3. Vince Lombardi:

    Praise in public criticize in private.

  4. Leo Mugabe:

    If I tell you that it won't be private.

  5. Jose Adan Aguerri:

    It was a message to the private sector.

Images & Illustrations of private

  1. privateprivateprivateprivateprivate

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for private

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"private." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 7 Dec. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/private>.

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