Definition of privy in English:

privy

Line breaks: privy
Pronunciation: /ˈprɪvi
 
/

adjective

  • 1 (privy to) Sharing in the knowledge of (something secret or private): he was no longer privy to her innermost thoughts
    More example sentences
    • Are you two anonymous riders privy to the knowledge of the Midnight Rider's name?
    • We are not privy to his innermost thoughts here, but to what he chose to record.
    • I am not privy to the government's plans for the future economy of our island but from what I can see, right now, tourism is where we are at - full stop.
    Synonyms
    aware of, acquainted with, in on, informed of, advised of, apprised of, in the know about, cognizant of
    informal genned up on, clued in on, clued up on, wise to, hip to
  • 2 archaic Hidden; secret: a privy place
    More example sentences
    • There is already a precedent for this because local residents (including my family) all have concessionary tickets to the privy gardens and have had them since they were replanted.
    • The names of these privy individuals are known, since this is all done by the book.
    • Sundays were further elevated as the principal court day with new regulations governing behaviour at chapel, and the privacy and dignity of Charles's privy lodgings were reinforced.

noun (plural privies)

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  • 1A toilet located in a small shed outside a house or other building.
    More example sentences
    • It was just as well that the neighbours were so friendly as some of the outside loos - or privies - had two and four holes in them, allowing several people to go to the loo at the same time.
    • For example, one by-law informs householders they must make sure they clean their outside privy at least once a week or face the stiff penalty of a £2 fine.
    • Fortunately we're able to pass the time walking backwards and forwards to the outside privy at the bottom of the yard and moving the coal in and out of the bath for our annual wash.
  • 2 Law A person having a part or interest in any action, matter, or thing.
    More example sentences
    • As such the Defendants are privies in title of the covenantors and bound by the estoppel which bound them.
    • The doctrine can be relied upon by persons who are not privies to the previous litigation but who claim that if they are going to be sued they should have been sued in the previous litigation.
    • This must be so on principle, since the trustee and beneficiaries are privies, and the authority is not wanting.

Derivatives

privily

adverb
More example sentences
  • We had a case once where jury lists were being privily given by the registry in Victoria to the Chief Commissioner of Police.

Origin

Middle English (originally in the sense 'belonging to one's own private circle'): from Old French prive 'private' (also used as a noun meaning 'private place' and 'familiar friend'), from Latin privatus 'withdrawn from public life' (see private).

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