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[priv-i-tee] /ˈprɪv ɪ ti/
noun, plural privities.
private or secret knowledge.
participation in the knowledge of something private or secret, especially as implying concurrence or consent.
Law. the relation between privies.
Obsolete, privacy.
Origin of privity
1175-1225; Middle English privete, privite < Old French. See privy, -ity
Related forms
nonprivity, noun, plural nonprivities. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for privity
Historical Examples
  • I must not forget to mention that I have received (probably not without your privity) Mr. Twining's valuable volume.

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

    The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • Their Bond, if at all signed, must be signed without his privity.

    The French Revolution Thomas Carlyle
  • Even then, these opportunities were secured by my artifice, without her privity.

    Confession W. Gilmore Simms
  • Shouldn't you expect her to make you pay somehow for your privity to her disgrace, to revenge her misery upon you?

    A Modern Instance William Dean Howells
  • This he likewise did with the privity and approbation of the American government.

    Astoria Washington Irving
  • Some have supposed this privity to be tenure; some, an interest of the covenantee in the land of the covenantor; and so on.

    The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • But Judith had not meddled with the arrangement, and every necessary disposition was made without her privity or advice.

    The Deerslayer James Fenimore Cooper
  • "Si," replied the stranger in Italian, with an air of privity.

  • On the one hand is the conception of succession or privity; on the other, that of rights inhering in a thing.

    The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
British Dictionary definitions for privity


noun (pl) -ties
a legally recognized relationship existing between two parties, such as that between lessor and lessee and between the parties to a contract: privity of estate, privity of contract
secret knowledge that is shared
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
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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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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