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[priv-it] /ˈprɪv ɪt/
any of various deciduous or evergreen shrubs of the genus Ligustrum, especially L. vulgare, having clusters of small white flowers and commonly grown as a hedge.
Origin of privet
1535-45; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for privet
  • Subsidies are not only wasteful uses of government spending, but also channel privet investment into wasteful pursuits.
  • Once sprouted, privet can form dense thickets which displace native plants.
British Dictionary definitions for privet


  1. any oleaceous shrub of the genus Ligustrum, esp L. vulgare or L. ovalifolium, having oval dark green leaves, white flowers, and purplish-black berries
  2. (as modifier): a privet hedge
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for privet

type of evergreen shrub, 1540s, of unknown origin. Early forms primet, primprint perhaps suggest some connection with prime [Klein].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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