Definition of private adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpraɪvət//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpraɪvət//
    House location, Conventional medicine, Banking
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    not public
  1. 1  [usually before noun] belonging to or for the use of a particular person or group; not for public use The sign said, ‘Private property. Keep out.’ Those are my father's private papers. The hotel has 110 bedrooms, all with private bathrooms. The villa has its own private beach.
  2. conversation/meeting
  3. 2  intended for or involving a particular person or group of people, not for people in general or for others to know about a private conversation They were sharing a private joke. Senior defence officials held private talks.
  4. feelings/information
  5. 3  that you do not want other people to know about synonym secret her private thoughts and feelings
  6. not owned/run by state
  7. 4  [usually before noun] owned or managed by an individual person or an independent company rather than by the state private banks a programme to return many of the state companies to private ownership opposite public See related entries: Banking
  8. 5  [only before noun] working or acting for yourself rather than for the state or for a group or company, especially in health or education private doctors (British English) If I can afford it, I think I'll go private (= pay for medical care rather than use the government service). See related entries: Conventional medicine
  9. not work
  10. 6  [usually before noun] not connected with your work or official position a politician’s private life
  11. quiet
  12. 7  where you are not likely to be disturbed; quiet Let's go somewhere a bit more private. opposite public See related entries: House location
  13. person
  14. 8[usually before noun] not wanting to share thoughts and feelings with other people He's a very private person.
  15. lessons
  16. 9[usually before noun] given by a teacher, etc. to one person or a small group of people for payment She gives private English lessons at weekends.
  17. money
  18. 10that you receive from property or other sources but do not have to earn He has a private income.
  19. Word Originlate Middle English (originally denoting a person not acting in an official capacity): from Latin privatus ‘withdrawn from public life’, a use of the past participle of privare ‘bereave, deprive’, from privus ‘single, individual’.Extra examples She was scared of revealing her private thoughts and feelings. The media are obsessed with the star’s private life. Those are my father’s private papers. You shouldn’t listen in on other people’s private conversations.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: private