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  /ˈprɑɪ·vɪt/ us  

private adjective (PERSONAL)

for the use of or belonging to one particular person or group only, or not shared or available to other people: The sign on the gate said "Private Property – Keep Out." Let’s go somewhere private so we can talk freely.in private If you do something in private, you do it without other people present: I asked if I could talk to her in private.

private adjective (INDEPENDENT)

[not gradable] belonging to or managed by a person or independent company rather than the government: The governor visited Ireland as a private citizen (= not as an official).

private

noun [C]  /ˈprɑɪ·vɪt/ us  

private noun [C] (RANK)

a person in the military of the lowest rank, below a corporal
(Definition of private from the Cambridge Academic Content 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

pup

a baby of particular animals, or a puppy

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More