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See also: přivý


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English pryvy, prive, from Old French privé (private), from Latin prīvātus (deprived), perfect passive participle of prīvō (I bereave, deprive; I free, release). Doublet of private.


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɹɪvi/
    • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪvi


privy (comparative more privy, superlative most privy)

  1. (now chiefly historical) Private, exclusive; not public; one's own. [from early 13th c.]
    The king retreated to his privy chamber.
    the privy purse
  2. (now rare, archaic) Secret, hidden, concealed.
    • 1967, William Styron, The Confessions of Nat Turner, Vintage, published 2004, page 82:
      Nonetheless, in the dark and privy stillness of our minds there are few of us who are not still haunted by worrisome doubts.
  3. With knowledge of; party to; let in on. [from late 14th c.]
    He was privy to the discussions.
    • April 5 2022, Tina Brown, “How Princess Diana’s Dance With the Media Impacted William and Harry”, in Vanity Fair[1]:
      William understood Diana more but idealized her less. He was privy to her volatile love life. He knew the tabloids made her life hell, but he also knew she colluded with them.
      adapted from the book The Palace Papers, published 2022 by Penguin Books

Derived terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


privy (plural privies)

  1. An outdoor facility for urination and defecation, whether open (latrine) or enclosed (outhouse).
  2. A lavatory: a room with a toilet.
  3. A toilet: a fixture used for urination and defecation.
  4. (law) A partaker; one having an interest in an action, contract, etc. to which he is not himself a party.


Derived terms[edit]