Word Origin & History
late 14c., from L. privatus "set apart, belonging to oneself" (not to the state), used in contrast to publicus, communis; originally pp. stem of privare "to separate, deprive," from privus "one's own, individual," from Old L. pri "before." Replaced O.E. syndrig. Grew popular 17c. as a preferred alternative
to the snobbish overtones in common. Meaning "not open to the public" is from late 14c. Of persons, "not holding public office" it is recorded from early 15c. Private soldier "one below the rank of a non-commissioned officer" is from 1570s. Private parts "the pudenda" is from 1785. Private enterprise first recorded 1844. Privacy is first recorded mid-15c. Privatization is attested from 1959; privatize first recorded 1968.