from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Knowledge of something private or secret shared between individuals, especially with the implication of approval or consent.
  • n. Law A relation between parties that is held to be sufficiently close and direct to support a legal claim on behalf of or against another person with whom this relation exists.
  • n. Law A successive or mutual interest in or relationship to the same property.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A divine mystery; something known only to God, or revealed only in holy scriptures.
  • n. A private matter, a secret.
  • n. Privacy, secrecy.
  • n. The genitals.
  • n. A relationship between parties seen as being a result of their mutual interest or participation in a given transaction, contract etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Privacy; secrecy; confidence.
  • n. Private knowledge; joint knowledge with another of a private concern; cognizance implying consent or concurrence.
  • n. A private matter or business; a secret.
  • n. The genitals; the privates.
  • n. A connection, or bond of union, between parties, as to some particular transaction; mutual or successive relationship to the same rights of property.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Privacy; secrecy; confidence.
  • n. Private life; privacy; seclusion.
  • n. Intimate relation; intimacy.
  • n. That which is to be kept privy or private; a secret; a private matter.
  • n. Private knowledge; joint knowledge with another of a private concern, which is often supposed to imply consent or concurrence.
  • n. plural The private parts.
  • n. In law: That relation between different interests of several persons in the same lands which arises under feudal tenures.
  • n. More loosely, since the abrogation of tenure, any joint, separate, or successive interest affecting the same realty is deemed to constitute a privity between the parties in interest.
  • n. In the law of obligations, the mutual relationships between contractor and contractee, and either of them and a third person claiming under the contract, which result from the existence of the contract.
  • n. In the law of contracts and torts, the legal relation consequent on joint or common knowledge and concurrence, particularly in respect to a breach of contract, a tort, or a wrong.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English privete, secrecy, privacy, from Old French, from Medieval Latin prīvitās, from Latin prīvus, single, alone; see per1 in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman priveté, privitee et al., Old French priveté, from privé + -té.


  • Descriptiveness is redundant for an individual name; the payoff of this rather strained statutory construction is the addition of a good faith requirement, raising the question whether an individual (or someone in privity with him/her, as also allowed by the statute) can use his/her own name, not as a mark, but still in bad faith.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • For example, a bailbondsman who acts as a bounty hunter vis a client who skipped jail is not considered a state actor and is not subject any of the provisions of constitutional criminal procedure that would otherwise apply, nor is someone working for a bounty to apprehend a criminal at large with whom the bounty hunter is not in privity, nor it the repo man (even if acting pursuant to a court order obtained in advance authorizing the seizure).

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Where’s the State Action in Tort Awards Based on Speech?

  • As for privity, the court found that Florida law was a “moving target,” filled with inconsistencies, and there’s no settled rule for whether privity is required to recover economic losses for breach of express warranty.

    Chew on this

  • Wrigley argued that the plaintiff made only conclusory allegations of damage that couldn’t support her state-law consumer protection claim, and that her claim for breach of express warranty failed because she wasn’t in privity with Wrigley and because she failed to allege a legally cognizable injury.

    Chew on this

  • MetroPCS argued that there was no evidence that the handsets it reflashed were from people in privity with Virgin, rather than from people who’d already bought the handsets on the secondary market.

    Flash forward: cellphone lawsuit continues

  • The first important idea was the notion of privity, which meant that you only could sue someone who directly affected you.

    Markets and Majorities

  • So-called privity laws prohibiting similar suits against attorneys are in effect in Latest Headlines

  • My real crime is an amorous connection with his wife for a considerable time, with his privity and connivance, if not originally brought on by a combination between the husband and wife with the design to extort money from me.

    Chris Weigant: America's First Political Sex Scandal: The Reynolds/Hamilton Affair

  • Examining the caselaw, as well as instructive precedent from other states, the court concluded that privity was not required where, as here, the alleged warranty was express; this is a matter of fairness given that the manufacturer who makes express warranties is in the best position to know the facts.

    Chew on this

  • Unduly emphasizing the fact that the false marking statute requires neither privity nor injury on the part of the party bringing suit, ignores the culpability of the party who has falsely marked their innovation – harming both the patent system and the public.

    Archive 2009-08-01


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