• synonyms


noun, plural priv·i·ties.
  1. private or secret knowledge.
  2. participation in the knowledge of something private or secret, especially as implying concurrence or consent.
  3. Law. the relation between privies.
  4. Obsolete. privacy.
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Origin of privity

1175–1225; Middle English privete, privite < Old French. See privy, -ity
Related formsnon·priv·i·ty, noun, plural non·priv·i·ties.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for privity

Historical Examples

  • The technical expression for the rule was that they were annexed to the estate in privity.

    The Common Law

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  • Even then, these opportunities were secured by my artifice, without her privity.


    W. Gilmore Simms

  • "Si," replied the stranger in Italian, with an air of privity.

  • Their Bond, if at all signed, must be signed without his privity.

    The French Revolution

    Thomas Carlyle

  • This he likewise did with the privity and approbation of the American government.


    Washington Irving

British Dictionary definitions for privity


noun plural -ties
  1. a legally recognized relationship existing between two parties, such as that between lessor and lessee and between the parties to a contractprivity of estate; privity of contract
  2. secret knowledge that is shared
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French priveté
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for privity


early 13c., from Old French privité, priveté "privacy; a secret, private matter" (c.1200), from prive "private," from Latin privus (see private (adj.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper