Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “private”

See all translations

private

adjective
 
 
/ˈpraɪvɪt/
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.
(Definition of private from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of private?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “private” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

beginner's luck

unexpected success experienced by a person who is just starting a particular activity

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More