- the state of being apart from other people or concealed from their view; solitude; seclusion: Please leave the room and give me some privacy.
- the state of being free from unwanted or undue intrusion or disturbance in one's private life or affairs; freedom to be let alone: Tourists must respect the tribe’s privacy. Those who wish to smoke can do so in the privacy of their own homes.See also invasion of privacy.
- freedom from damaging publicity, public scrutiny, secret surveillance, or unauthorized disclosure of one’s personal data or information, as by a government, corporation, or individual: Ordinary citizens have a qualified right to privacy. There is so much information about us online that personal privacy may be a thing of the past.
- the state of being concealed; secrecy: Before he told us of his plans, he insisted on total privacy.
- Usually privacies. Archaic. a personal matter that is concealed; a secret.
- Archaic. a private or secluded place.
Origin of privacy
Isolation and sequestration generally signify physical separation. In contrast to privacy and secrecy, which are usually sought by the individuals involved, isolation and sequestration are often imposed by others. For example, a vulnerable medical patient might be kept in isolation to protect him from acquiring an infection through contact with others, or a prisoner might be placed in isolation —that is, in solitary confinement—as punishment for an infraction. Sequestration can refer to things as well as to people, and is most often used to specify separation in technical or legal contexts: Carbon sequestration in the coal industry can potentially alleviate the problem of global warming; Sequestration of the jury she was serving on kept her away from her family for weeks; Until its leaders comply with international agreements, sequestration of that nation's overseas bank accounts will remain in effect.
One wants to keep one's secrets secret, and as well, keep many aspects of one's life private. But the ability of powerful corporations, government intelligence agencies, online stores, social media, or even individual thieves to reach and probe into our personal communications, buying habits, financial resources, circle of friends, and general lifestyle poses threats to one's privacy. Fortunately, for most people, reasonable precautions are usually enough to allow them to engage in normal activities without great worry.
Related Words for privaciesseclusion, isolation, solitude, quiet, sequestration, aloofness, retirement, separation, separateness, concealment, retreat, confidentiality, penetralia
Examples from the Web for privacies
Historical Examples of privacies
In this view it is desirable to be introduced into the privacies of domestic life.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II
Francis Augustus Cox
If you love the man of letters, seek him in the privacies of his study.Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3)
This, of course, let her into the privacies of domestic life.Ask Momma
R. S. Surtees
The invader of privacies glanced at the clock in his turn and shook his head.The Price
The editor has aimed to avoid all privacies and personalities which might be indelicate in relation to family circles.Men of Our Times
Harriet Beecher Stowe
- the condition of being private or withdrawn; seclusion
- the condition of being secret; secrecy
- philosophy the condition of being necessarily restricted to a single person