Something private is something you don't want to share; it's for your eyes only. Your diary entries and your bank account balance might both be kept private.

As a noun, the lowest enlisted rank is called private. You may enlist as a private but have plans to retire from the Army as a four-star general! Sometimes the adjective private is used as the opposite of public. If you own your own island, it's private property. Alcatraz Island, however, is public property and the site of a museum preserving its past life as a famous prison — former home to Al Capone.

Definitions of private
  1. adjective
    confined to particular persons or groups or providing privacy
    “a private place”
    private discussions”
    private lessons”
    “a private club”
    “a private secretary”
    private property”
    “the former President is now a private citizen”
    “public figures struggle to maintain a private life”
    confined to and understandable by only an enlightened inner circle
    concerning or affecting a particular person or his or her private life and personality
    clannish, cliquish, clubby, elitist, snobbish, snobby
    befitting or characteristic of those who incline to social exclusiveness and who rebuff the advances of people considered inferior
    cloistered, reclusive, secluded, sequestered
    providing privacy or seclusion
    confined to specific persons
    not open to the public
    confidential, secret
    (of information) given in confidence or in secret
    entrusted with private information and the confidence of another
    suggestive of the isolated life of an island
    not invested with or related to prominent position or status etc.
    backstage, offstage
    concealed from public view or attention
    directly between two individuals
    privy, secluded, secret
    hidden from general view or use
    confined to a small number of hospital patients
    head-to-head, tete-a-tete
    involving two persons; intimately private
    snobbish; pretentiously superior
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    not private; open to or concerning the people as a whole
    suitable for the general public
    open, overt
    open and observable; not secret or hidden
    in the public eye
    of great interest to the public
    owned or maintained for the public by the national government
    open to or in view of all
    having some of the features of public institution
    supported and operated by the government of a state
    unexclusive, unrestricted
    accessible to all
    show more antonyms...
  2. adjective
    concerning one person exclusively
    “each room has a private bath”
    synonyms: individual
    concerning or affecting a particular person or his or her private life and personality
  3. adjective
    concerning things deeply private and personal
    private correspondence”
    private family matters”
    concerning or affecting a particular person or his or her private life and personality
  4. adjective
    not expressed
    “secret (or private) thoughts”
    synonyms: secret
    relating to or existing in the mind or thoughts
  5. noun
    an enlisted soldier of the lowest rank in the Army or Marines
    “our prisoner was just a private and knew nothing of value”
    synonyms: buck private, common soldier
    see moresee less
    type of:
    enlisted man
    a male enlisted person in the armed forces
Word Family

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