› used to describe a company with shares that are not traded on a stock market: EM.TV is a private family-owned company.
› ECONOMICS owned or controlled by one person or company, rather than by a government: Much of the funding for this type of investment comes from public, rather than private, sources. We need to review public and private interests in order to balance them carefully. The center has about 85 employees supported by private money from grants and donations. private health insurance private agencies/institutions/hospitals
› ECONOMICS private employees, investors, etc. act for themselves, rather than for a government or company: private buyers/investors a private contractor/developer
› COMMERCE, FINANCE only offered to particular people or organizations to buy and not offered to the public: The property was sold by private treaty. a private sale
› intended only for the use of one person or group of people: a private jet a private club
› MEETINGS involving only a small group of people and kept secret: Senior group executives are reported to be in private talks regarding a possible merger. a private agreement/conversation
› connected with your personal life, rather than your job: Employees are asked to keep private emails/phone calls to a minimum.
go private › FINANCE, STOCK MARKET if a company whose shares are traded on a stock market goes private, the owners buy the shares back from other shareholders in order to take control of the company themselves: The Canadian utility company is well on its way to going private through a $22 billion management-led buyout. › ECONOMICS, GOVERNMENT if an organization that is owned by the government goes private, it is sold to investors: The satellite company was bought by its current owners for $3.1 billion in cash after going private and shedding its intergovernmental ownership. › UK to pay for your own medical treatment, rather than using treatment provided by the National Health Service: People who cannot find an NHS dentist are already going private and insurers are keen to fill in gaps in their finances.
in private › MEETINGS something that is done in private is done secretly and only involves a small group of people: Negotiations are underway in private.
in private hands › ECONOMICS, GOVERNMENT owned or controlled by one person or company, rather than by a government: The transaction would put control of a key service in private hands.
› owned by one person, rather than by an organization: Two original copies of the manuscript are still in private hands.
take sth private › FINANCE, STOCK MARKET to take control of a company or organization whose shares are traded on a stock market by buying the shares back from other shareholders: Two of the world's richest men combined to take the upmarket hotel chain private in a $1.95bn deal.