- participating in the knowledge of something private or secret (usually followed by to): Many persons were privy to the plot.
- private; assigned to private uses.
- belonging or pertaining to some particular person, especially with reference to a sovereign.
- secret, concealed, hidden, or secluded.
- acting or done in secret.
- outhouse(def 1).
- Law. a person participating directly in or having a derivative interest in a legal transaction.
Origin of privy
Examples from the Web for privy
Pinsky was also privy to payouts for his celebrity, accepting a lucrative consulting gig with Janssen Pharmaceutica.It’s Time to Turn Off TV Doctors
June 23, 2014
I'm just an average citizen not privy to that kind of information.Reader Poll Results: Do you Care That the NSA Is Spying on You?
The Daily Beast
June 8, 2013
He believes he is privy to information not reflected in polls.Republicans: Check Your Premises
November 9, 2012
We have reason to believe he was privy to this report before it was released.Pakistan: Judges Rebuke Haqqani in Memogate Scandal
Fasih Ahmed, Shehrbano Taseer
June 13, 2012
If they were privy to inside information about revenues looking weak, is that a problem?7 Things to Know About Facebook’s Investor Scandal
May 23, 2012
After the Privy Council outrage there was very little for Franklin to do.Benjamin Franklin
Paul Elmer More
This question was referred to a committee of eight Privy Councillors.Browning's England
Helen Archibald Clarke
A reward for your apprehension was actually deliberated at the Privy Council.The O'Donoghue
Charles James Lever
Methinks the baker is just as good a man as the privy councillor.Debts of Honor
Whereupon Clifton threatened to complain to the Privy Council.Shakespearean Playhouses</p>
Joseph Quincy Adams
- (postpositive foll by to) participating in the knowledge of something secret
- archaic secret, hidden, etc
- archaic of or relating to one person only
- a lavatory, esp an outside one
- law a person in privity with anotherSee privity (def. 1)
Word Origin and History for privy
"private," early 13c., from Old French privé "friendly, intimate; a private place," from Latin privatus "private, personal" (see private (adj.)). Meaning "participating in (a secret)" (usually with to) is attested from late 14c. Related: Privily. Privy Council is from c.1300 in a general sense; specifically of the British government, first attested late 14c., as consaile priue. Privy member "organ of sex" is from late 13c.
"toilet," c.1200, from Old French privé, privee "latrine," literally "private place," from noun use of adjective privé (see privy (adj.)).