Pri"vate (?; 48), a. [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.]
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.
Sequestered from company or observation; appropriated to an individual; secret; secluded; lonely; solitary; as, a private room or apartment; private prayer.
Reason . . . then retires
Into her private cell when nature rests.
Not invested with, or engaged in, public office or employment; as, a private citizen; private life.
A private person may arrest a felon.
Not publicly known; not open; secret; as, a private negotiation; a private understanding.
Having secret or private knowledge; privy.
Private act ∨ statute, a statute exclusively for the settlement of private and personal interests, of which courts do not take judicial notice; -- opposed to a general law, which operates on the whole community<-- also, private law vs. public law -->. -- Private nuisance ∨ wrong. See Nuisance. -- Private soldier. See Private, n., 5. -- Private way, a right of private passage over another man's ground.<-- also, a road on private land, contrasted with public road. -->
© Webster 1913.
Pri"vate (?), n.
A secret message; a personal unofficial communication. [Obs.]
Personal interest; particular business.[Obs.]
Nor must I be unmindful of my private.
Privacy; retirement. [Archaic] "Go off; I discard you; let me enjoy my private."
One not invested with a public office. [Archaic]
What have kings, that privates have not too?
A common soldier; a soldier below the grade of a noncommissioned officer.
The private parts; the genitals.
In private, secretly; not openly or publicly.
© Webster 1913.