Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



PRIME, a. [L. primus.]

1. First in order of time; original; as prime fathers; prime creation.

In this sense, the use of the word is nearly superseded by primitive, except in the phrase, prime cost.

2. First in rank, degree or dignity; as prime minister.

3. First in excellence; as prime wheat; cloth of a prime quality. Humility and resignation are prime virtues.

4. Early; blooming.

His starry helm unbuckl’d, showed him prime

In manhood, where youth ended.

5. First in value or importance.

Prime number, in arithmetic, a number which is divisible only by unity, as 5, 7, 11.

Prime figure, in geometry, a figure which cannot be divided into any other figure more simple than itself, as a triangle, a pyramid, etc.

PRIME, n. The first opening of day; the dawn; the morning.

Early and late it rung, at evening and at prime.

The sweet hour of prime.

1. The beginning; the early days.

In the very prime of the world.

2. The spring of the year.

Hope waits upon the flower prime.

3. The spring of life; youth; hence, full health, strength or beauty.

That crop the golden prime of this sweet prince.

The prime of youth.

4. The best part.

Give him always of the prime.

5. The utmost perfection.

The plants--would have been all in prime.

6. In the Romish church, the first canonical hour, succeeding to lauds.

7. In fencing, the first of the chief guards.

8. In chimistry, primes are numbers employed, in conformity with the doctrine of definite proportions, to express the ratios in which bodies enter into combination. Primes duly arranged in a table, constitute a scale of chimical equivalents. They also express the ratios of the weights of atoms, according to the atomic theory.

Prime of the moon, the new moon, when it first appears after the change.

Prime vertical, the vertical circle which passes through the poles of the meridian, or the east and west points of the horizon. Dials projected on the plane of this circle, are called prime vertical or north and south dials.

PRIME, v.t. To put powder in the pan of a musket or other fire-arm; or to lay a train of powder for communicating fire to a charge.

1. To lay on the first color in painting.

PRIME, v.i. To serve for the charge of a gun.

PRIMED, pp. Having powder in the pan; having the first color in painting.

PRIMELY, adv. At first; originally; primarily.

1. Most excellently.

PRIMENESS, n. The state of being first.

1. Supreme excellence. [Little used in either sense.]

PRIMER, a. First; original. [Not in use.]

PRIMER, n. A small prayer book for church service, or an office of the virgin Mary.

1. A small elementary book for teaching children to read.

PRIMER-FINE, n. In England, a fine due to the king on the writ or commencement of a suit by fine.

PRIMERO, n. A game at cards.

PRIMER-SEIZIN, n. [prime and seizin.] In feudal law, the right of the king, when a tenant in capite died seized of a knight’s fee, to receive of the heir, if of full age, one year’s profits of the land if in possession, and half a year’s profits if the land was in reversions expectant on an estate for life; abolished by 12 Car. 2.

PRIMEVAL, a. [L. primus, first, and oevum, age, primoevus.]

Original; primitive; as the primeval innocence of man; primeval day.

PRIMEVOUS, a. Primeval.

PRIMIGENIAL, a. [L. primigenius; primus, first, and genus, kind, or gignor, to beget.] First born; original; primary.

PRIMIGENOUS, a. [supra.] First formed or generated; original; as semi-primigenous strata.

PRIMING, ppr. Putting powder in the pan of a fire-arm.

1. Laying on the first color.

PRIMING, n. The powder in the pan of a gun, or laid along the channel of a cannon for conveying fire to the charge.

1. Among painters, the first color laid on canvas or on a building, etc.

PRIMING-WIRE, n. A pointed wire, used to penetrate the vent of a piece, for examining the powder of the charge or for piercing the cartridge.

PRIMIPILAR, a. [L. primipilus, the centurion of the first cohort of a Roman legion.] Pertaining to the captain of the vanguard.

PRIMITIAL, a. Being of the first production.

PRIMITIVE, a. [L. primitivus; from primus, first.]

1. Pertaining to the beginning or origin; original; first; as the primitive state of Adam; primitive innocence; primitive ages; the primitive church; the primitive christian church or institutions; the primitive fathers.

2. Formal; affectedly solemn; imitating the supposed gravity of old times.

3. Original; primary; radical; not derived; as a primitive verb in grammar.

Primitive rocks, in geology, rocks supposed to be first formed, being irregularly crystallized, and aggregated without a cement, and containing no organic remains; as granite, gneiss, etc.

PRIMITIVE, n. An original word; a word not derived from another.

PRIMITIVELY, adv. Originally; at first.

1. Primarily; not derivatively.

2. According to the original rule or ancient practice.

PRIMITIVENESS, n. State of being original; antiquity; conformity to antiquity.

PRIMITY, n. The state of being original. [Not used.]

PRIMNESS, n. [from prim.] Affected formality or niceness; stiffness; preciseness.

PRIMOGENIAL, a. [L. primigenius. See Primigenial.]

First born, made or generated; original; primary; constituent; elemental; as primogenial light; primogenial bodies.

PRIMOGENITOR, n. [L. primus, first, and genitor, father.]

The first father or forefather.

PRIMOGENITURE, n. [L. primus, first, and genitus, begotten.]

1. The state of being born first of the same parents; seniority by birth among children.

2. In law, the right which belongs to the eldest son or daughter. Thus in Great Britain, the right of inheriting the estate of the father belongs to the eldest son, and in the royal family, the eldest son of the king is entitled to the throne by primogeniture. Among the females, the crown descends by right of primogeniture to the eldest daughter only and her issue.

Before the revolution, primogeniture, in some of the American colonies, entitled the eldest son to a double portion of his father’s estate, but this right has been abolished.

PRIMOGENITURESHIP, n. The right of eldership.

PRIMORDIAL, a. [L. primordialis, primordium; primus, first, and ordo, order.] First in order; original; existing from the beginning.

PRIMORDIAL, n. Origin; first principle or element.

PRIMORDIAN, n. A kind of plum.

PRIMORDIATE, a. [See Primordial.] Original; existing from the first.

PRIMP, v.i. To be formal or affected. [Not English, or local.]

PRIMROSE, n. s as z. [L. primula veris; primus, first, and rose; literally, the first or an early rose in spring.]

A plant of the genus Primula, of several varieties, as the white, the red, the yellow flowered, the cowslip, etc. Shakespeare uses the word for gay or flowery; as the primrose way.

PRIMY, a. Blooming. [Not used.]

PRINCE, n. prins. [L. princeps.]

1. In a general sense, a sovereign; the chief and independent ruler of a nation or state. Thus when we speak of the princes of Europe, we include emperors and kings. Hence, a chief in general; as a prince of the celestial host.

2. A sovereign in a certain territory; one who has the government of a particular state or territory, but holds of a superior to whom he owes certain services; as the princes of the German states.

3. The son of a king or emperor, or the issue of a royal family; as princes of the blood. In England, the eldest son of the king is created prince of Wales.

4. The chief of any body of men.

5. A chief or ruler of either sex. Queen Elizabeth is called by Camden prince, but this application is unusual and harsh.

Prince of the senate, in ancient Rome, was the person first called in the roll of senators. He was always of consular and censorian dignity.

In Scripture, this name prince is given to God, Daniel 8:25; to Christ, who is called the prince of peace, Isaiah 9:6, and the prince of life, Acts 3:15; to the chief of the priests, the prince of the sanctuary, Isaiah 43:28; to the Roman emperor, Daniel 9:26; to men of superior worth and excellence, Ecclesiastes 10:7; to nobles, counselors and officers of a kingdom, Isaiah 10:8; to the chief men of families or tribes, Numbers 17:2; to Satan, who is called the prince of this world, John 12:31, and prince of the power of the air, Ephesians 2:2.

PRINCE, v.i. To play the prince; to take state.

PRINCEDOM, n. prins’dom. The jurisdiction, sovereignty, rank or estate of a prince.

Under thee, as head supreme,

Thrones, princedoms, powers, dominions, I reduce.

PRINCELIKE, a. prins’like. Becoming a prince.

PRINCELINESS, n. prins’liness. [from princely.]

The state, manner or dignity of a prince.

PRINCELY, a. prins’ly. Resembling a prince; having the appearance of one high born; stately; dignified; as a princely gentleman; a princely youth.

1. Having the rank of princes; as a man of princely birth; a princely dame.

2. Becoming a prince; royal; grand; august; as a princely gift; princely virtues.

3. Very large; as a princely fortune.

4. Magnificent; rich; as a princely entertainment.

PRINCELY, adv. prins’ly. In a princelike manner.

PRINCES’-FETHER, n. A plant of the genus Amaranthus.

Prince’s metal, a mixture of copper and zink, in imitation of gold.

PRINCESS, n. A female sovereign, as an empress or queen.

1. A sovereign lady of rank next to that of a queen.

2. The daughter of a king.

3. The consort of a prince; as the princess of Wales.

PRINCIPAL, a. [L. principalis, from princeps.]

1. Chief; highest in rank, character or respectability; as the principal officers of a government; the principal men of a city, town, or state. Acts 25:23; 1 Chronicles 24:31.

2. Chief; most important or considerable; as the principal topics of debate; the principal arguments in a case; the principal points of law; the principal beams of a building; the principal productions of a country.

Wisdom is the principal thing. Proverbs 4:7.

3. In law, a principal challenge, is where the cause assigned carries with it prima facie evidence of partiality, favor or malice.

4. In music, fundamental.

PRINCIPAL, n. A chief or head; one who takes the lead; as the principal of a faction, an insurrection or mutiny.

1. The president, governor, or chief in authority. We apply the word to the chief instructor of an academy or seminary of learning.

2. In law, the actor or absolute perpetrator of a crime, or an abettor. A principal in the first degree, is the absolute perpetrator of the crime; a principal in the second degree, is one who is present, aiding and abetting the fact to be done; distinguished from an accessory. In treason, all persons concerned are principals.

3. In commerce, a capital sum lent on interest, due as a debt or used as a fund; so called in distinction from interest or profits.

Taxes must be continued, because we have no other means for paying off the principal.

4. One primarily engaged; a chief party; in distinction from an auxiliary.

We were not principals, but auxiliaries in the war.


1. Sovereignty; supreme power.

2. A prince; one invested with sovereignty. Titus 3:1.

3. The territory of a prince; or the country which gives title to a prince; as the principality of Wales.

4. Superiority; predominance. [Little used.]

5. In Scripture, royal state or attire. Jeremiah 13:18.

PRINCIPALLY, adv. Chiefly; above all.

They mistake the nature of criticism, who think its business is principally to find fault.

PRINCIPALNESS, n. The state of being principal or chief.

PRINCIPATE, n. Principality; supreme rule.

PRINCIPIA, n. plu. [L. principium.] First principles.

PRINCIPIATION, n. [from L. principium.] Analysis into constituent or elemental parts. [Not used.]

PRINCIPLE, n. [L. principium, beginning.]

1. In a general sense, the cause, source or origin of any thing; that from which a thing proceeds; as the principle of motion; the principles of action.

2. Element; constituent part; primordial substance.

Modern philosophers suppose matter to be one simple principle, or solid extension diversified by its various shapes.

3. Being that produces any thing; operative cause.

The soul of man is an active principle.

4. In science, a truth admitted either without proof, or considered as having been before proved. In the former sense, it is synonymous with axiom; in the latter, with the phrase, established principle.

5. Ground; foundation; that which supports an assertion, an action, or a series of actions or of reasoning. On what principle can this be affirmed or denied? He justifies his proceedings on the principle of expedience or necessity. He reasons on sound principles.

6. A general truth; a law comprehending many subordinate truths; as the principles of morality, of law, of government, etc.

7. Tenet; that which is believed, whether truth or not, but which serves as a rule of action or the basis of a system; as the principles of the Stoics, or of the Epicureans.

8. A principle of human nature, is a law of action in human beings; a constitutional propensity common to the human species. Thus it is a principle of human nature to resent injuries and repel insults.

PRINCIPLE, v.t. To establish or fix in tenets; to impress with any tenet, good or ill; chiefly used in the participle.

Men have been principled with an opinion, that they must not consult reason in things of religion.

1. To establish firmly in the mind.

PRINCIPLED, pp. Established in opinion or in tenets; firmly fixed in the mind.

PRINCOCK, PRINCOX, n. A coxcomb; a conceited person; a pert young rogue; a ludicrous word. [Little used.]

PRINK, v.i.

1. To prank; to dress for show.

2. To strut; to put on stately airs.

PRINT, v.t. [L. imprimo; in and premo, to press; promptus, pressed or pressing forward.]

1. In general, to take or form letters, characters or figures on paper, cloth or other material by impression. Thus letters are taken on paper by impressing it on types blackened with ink. Figures are printed on cloth by means of blocks or a cylinder. The rolling press is employed to take prints on impressions from copper- plates. Thus we say, to print books, to print calico, to print tunes, music, likenesses, etc.

2. To mark by pressing one thing on another.

On his fiery steed betimes he rode,

That scarcely prints the turf on which he trod.

3. To impress any thing so as to leave its form.

Perhaps some footsteps printed in the clay--

4. To form by impression.

Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh.

PRINT, v.i. To use or practice the art of typography, or of taking impressions of letters, figures and the like.

1. To publish a book. [Elliptical.]

From the moment he prints, he must expect to hear no more of truth.

PRINT, n. A mark made by impression; any line, character, figure or indentation of any form, made by the pressure of one body or thing on another; as the print of the tooth or of the nails in flesh; the print of the foot in sand or snow; the print of a wheel; the print of types on paper. Hence,

1. The impression of types in general, as to form, size, etc.; as a small print; a large print; a fair print.

2. That which impresses its form on any thing; as a butter print; a wooden print.

3. The representation or figure of any thing made by impression; as the print of the face; the print of a temple; prints of antiquities.

4. The state of being printed and published. Diffidence sometimes prevents a man from suffering his works to appear; in print.

I love a ballad in print.

5. A single sheet printed for sale; a newspaper.

The prints, about three days after, were filled with the same terms.

6. Formal method. [Not in use.]

Out of print, a phrase which signifies that, of a printed and published work, there are no copies for sale, or none for sale by the publisher.

PRINTED, pp. Impressed; indented.

PRINTER, n. One that prints books, pamphlets or papers.

1. One that stains or prints cloth with figures, as calico.

2. One that impresses letters or figures with copper-plates.

PRINTING, ppr. Impressing letters, characters or figures on any thing; making marks or indentations.

PRINTING, n. The art or practice of impressing letters, characters or figures on paper, cloth or other material; the business of a printer; typography.

PRINTING-INK, n. Ink used by printers of books.

PRINTING-PAPER, n. Paper to be used in the printing of books, pamphlets, etc.; as distinguished from writing-paper, press-paper, wrapping-paper, etc.

PRINTING-PRESS, n. A press for the printing of books, etc.

PRINTLESS, a. That leaves no print or impression; as printless feet.

PRIOR, a. [L. comp. Probably the first syllable is contracted from pris, prid, or some other word, for the Latin has prisce, pristinus.]

Preceding in the order of time; former; antecedent; anterior; as a prior discovery; prior obligation. The discovery of the continent of American by Cabot was six or seven weeks prior to the discovery of it by Columbus. The discovery of the Labrador coast by Cabot was on the 11th of June, 1499; that of the continent by Columbus, was on the first of August of the same year.

PRIOR, n. [L. prior.]

1. The superior of a convent of monks, or one next in dignity to an abbot. Priors are claustral or conventical. The conventical are the same as abbots. A claustral prior is one that governs the religious of an abbey or priory in commendam, having his jurisdiction wholly from the abbot.

2. In some churches, one who presides over others in the same churches.

PRIORATE, n. Government by a prior.

PRIORESS, n. A female superior of a convent of nuns.

PRIORITY, n. The state of being antecedent in time, or of preceding something else; as priority of birth. The priority of Homer or Hesiod has been a subject of dispute.

1. Precedence in place or rank.

Priority of debts, is a superior claim to payment, or to payment before others.

PRIORLY, adv. Antecedently. [A bad word and not used.]

PRIORSHIP, n. The state or office of prior.

PRIORY, n. A convent of which a prior is the superior; in dignity below an abbey.

1. Priories are the churches given to priors in titulum, or by way of title.

PRISAGE, n. A right belonging to the crown of England, of taking two tons of wine from every ship importing twenty tons or more; one before and one behind the mast. This by charter of Edward I. was exchanged into a duty of two shillings for every tun imported by merchant strangers, and called butlerage, because paid to the king’s butler.

PRISCILLIANIST, n. In church history, one of a sect so denominated from Priscillian, a Spaniard, bishop of Avila, who practiced magic, maintained the errors of the Manichees, and held it to be lawful to make false oaths in the support of one’s cause and interest.

PRISM, n. [Low L. prisma; Gr. to cut with a saw, to press or strain.] A solid whose bases or ends are any similar, equal and parallel plane figures, and whose sides are parallelograms.

A prism of glass is one bounded by two equal and parallel triangular ends and three plain and well polished sides which meet in three parallel lines, running from the three angles of one end to the three angles of the other end.

PRISMATIC, PRISMATICAL, a. Resembling a prism; as a prismatic form.

1. Separated or distributed by a prism; formed by a prism; as prismatic colors.

2. Pertaining to a prism.

PRISMATICALLY, adv. In the form or manner of a prism.

PRISMATOIDAL, a. [L. prisma.] Having a prismatic form.

PRISMOID, n. [L. prisma and Gr. form.]

A body that approaches to the form of a prism.

PRISMY, a. Pertaining to or like a prism.

PRISON, n. priz’n. [L. prendo.]

1. In a general sense, any place of confinement or involuntary restraint; but appropriately, a public building for the confinement or safe custody of debtors and criminals committed by process of law; a jail. Originally, a prison, as Lord Coke observes, was only a place of safe custody; but it is now employed as a place of punishment. We have state-prisons, for the confinement of criminals by way of punishment.

2. Any place of confinement or restraint.

The tyrant Aeolus,

With power imperial curbs the struggling winds,

And sounding tempests in dark prisons binds.

3. In Scripture, a low, obscure, afflicted condition. Ecclesiastes 4:14.

4. The cave where David was confined. Psalm 142:7.

5. A state of spiritual bondage. Isaiah 42:7.

PRISON, v.t. To shut up in a prison; to confine; to restrain from liberty.

1. To confine in any manner.

2. To captivate; to enchain.

[This word is proper, but imprison is more commonly used.]

PRISON-BASE, n. A kind of rural sports; commonly called prison-bars.

PRISONED, pp. Imprisoned; confined; restrained.

PRISONER, n. One who is confined in a prison by legal arrest or warrant.

1. A person under arrest or in custody of the sheriff, whether in prison or not; as a prisoner at the bar of a court.

2. A captive; one taken by an enemy in war.

3. One whose liberty is restrained, as a bird in a cage.

PRISON-HOUSE, n. A house in which prisoners are confined; a jail. Judges 16:21.

PRISONING, ppr. Confining; imprisoning.

PRISONMENT, n. Confinement in a prison; imprisonment.

[The latter is commonly used.]

PRISTINE, a. [L. pristinus. See Prior and Pro.] original; primitive; as the pristine state of innocence; the pristine manners of a people; the pristine constitution of things.

PRITHEE, a corruption of pray thee, as I prithee; but it is generally used without the pronoun, prithee.

PRIVACY, n. [form private.] A state of being in retirement from the company or observation of others; secrecy.

1. A place of seclusion from company or observation; retreat; solitude; retirement.

Her sacred privacies all open lie.

2. Privity. [Not used.] [See Privity.]

3. Taciturnity. [Not used.]

4. Secrecy; concealment of what is said or done.

PRIVADO, n. A secret friend. [Not used.]

PRIVATE, a. [L. privatus, from privo, to bereave, properly to strip or separate; privus, singular, several, peculiar to one’s self, that is, separate; rapio, diripio, eripio; privo for perivo or berivo.]

1. Properly, separate; unconnected with others; hence, peculiar to one’s self; belonging to or concerning an individual only; as a man’s private opinion, business or concerns; private property; the king’s private purse; a man’s private expenses. Charge the money to my private account in the company’s books.

2. Peculiar to a number in a joint concern, to a company or body politic; as the private interest of a family, of a company or of a state; opposed to public, or to the general interest of nations.

3. Sequestered from company or observation; secret; secluded; as a private cell; a private room or apartment; private prayer.

4. Not publicly known; not open; as a private negotiation.

5. Not invested with public office or employment; as a private man or citizen; private lift.

A private person may arrest a felon.

6. Individual; personal; in contradistinction from public or national; as private interest.

Private way, in law, is a way or passage in which a man has an interest and right, though the ground may belong to another person. In common language, a private way may be a secret way, one not known or public.

A private act or statute, is one which operates on an individual or company only; opposed to a general law, which operates on the whole community.

A private nuance or wrong, is one which affects an individual.

In private, secretly; not openly or publicly.

PRIVATE, n. A secret message; particular business. [Unusual.]

1. A common soldier.

PRIVATEER, n. [from private.] A ship or vessel of war owned and equipped by a private man or by individuals, at their own expense, to seize or plunder the ships of an enemy in war. Such a ship must be licensed or commissioned by government, or it is a pirate.

PRIVATEER, v.i. To cruise in a commissioned private ship against an enemy, for seizing their ships or annoying their commerce.

PRIVATELY, adv. In a secret manner; not openly or publicly.

1. In a manner affecting an individual or company. He is not privately benefited.

PRIVATENESS, n. Secrecy; privacy.

1. Retirement; seclusion from company or society.

2. The state of an individual in the rank of common citizens, or not invested with office.

PRIVATION, n. [L. privatio, from privo. See Private.]

1. The state of being deprived; particularly, deprivation or absence of what is necessary for comfort. He endures his privations with wonderful fortitude.

2. The act of removing something possessed; the removal or destruction of any thing or quality. The garrison was compelled by privation to surrender.

For what is this contagious sin of kind

But a privation of that grace within?

3. Absence, in general. Darkness is a privation of light.

4. The act of the mind in separating a thing from something appendant.

5. The act of degrading from rank or office.

[But in this sense, deprivation is now used. See Deprivation.]

PRIVATIVE, a. Causing privation.

1. Consisting in the absence of something; not positive. Privative is in things, what negative is in propositions; as privative blessings, safeguard, liberty and integrity.

PRIVATIVE, n. That of which the essence is the absence of something. Blackness and darkness are privatives.

1. In grammar, a prefix to a word which changes its signification and gives it a contrary sense, as a, in Greek; unjust; un and in in English, as unwise, inhuman. The word may also be applied to suffixes, as less, in harmless.

PRIVATIVELY, adv. By the absence of something.

1. Negatively.

The duty of the new covenant is set down first privatively. [Unusual.]

PRIVATIVENESS, n. Notation of the absence of something.

PRIVET, n. A plant of the genus Ligustrum. The evergreen privet is of the genus Rhamnus. Mock privet is of the genus Phillyrea.

PRIVILEGE, n. [L. privilegium; privus, separate, private, and lex, law; originally a private law, some public act that regarded an individual.]

1. A particular and peculiar benefit or advantage enjoyed by a person, company or society, beyond the common advantages of other citizens. A privilege may be a particular right granted by law or held by custom, or it may be an exemption from some burden to which others are subject. The nobles of Great Britain have the privilege of being triable by their peers only. Members of parliament and of our legislatures have the privilege of exemption from arrests in certain cases. The powers of a banking company are privileges granted by the legislature.

He pleads the legal privilege of a Roman.

The privilege of birthright was a double portion.

2. Any peculiar benefit or advantage, right or immunity, not common to others of the human race. Thus we speak of national privileges, and civil and political privileges, which we enjoy above other nations. We have ecclesiastical and religious privileges secured to us by our constitutions of government. Personal privileges are attached to the person; as those of embassadors, peers, members of legislatures, etc. Real privileges are attached to place; as the privileges of the king’s palace in England.

3. Advantage; favor; benefit.

A nation despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral.

Writ of privilege, is a writ to deliver a privileged person from custody when arrested in a civil suit.

PRIVILEGE, v.t. To grant some particular right or exemption to; to invest with a peculiar right or immunity; as, to privilege representatives from arrest; to privilege the officers and students of a college from military duty.

1. To exempt from ensure or danger.

This place doth privilege me.

PRIVILEGED, pp. Invested with a privilege; enjoying a peculiar right or immunity. The clergy in Great Britain were formerly a privileged body of men. No person is privileged from arrest for indictable crimes.

PRIVILEGING, ppr. Investing with a peculiar right or immunity.

PRIVILY, adv. [from privy.] Privately; secretly.

--False teachers among you, who shall privily bring in damnable heresies. 2 Peter 2:1.

PRIVITY, n. Privacy; secrecy; confidence.

I will to you, in privity, discover the drift of my purpose. [Little used.]

1. Private knowledge; joint knowledge with another of a private concern, which is often supposed to imply consent or concurrence.

All the doors were laid open for his departure, not without the privity of the prince of Orange.

But it is usual to say, “a thing is done with his privity and consent;” in which phrase, privity signifies merely private knowledge.

2. Privities, in the plural, secret parts; the parts which modesty requires to be concealed.

PRIVY, a. [L. privus. See Private.]

1. Private; pertaining to some person exclusively; assigned to private uses; not public; as the privy purse; the privy confer of a king.

2. Secret; clandestine; not open or public; as a privy attempt to kill one.

3. Private; appropriated to retirement; not shown; not open for the admission of company; as a privy chamber. Ezekiel 21:14.

4. Privately knowing; admitted to the participation of knowledge with another of a secret transaction.

He would rather lose half of his kingdom than be privy to such a secret.

Myself am one made privy to the plot.

His wife also being privy to it. Acts 5:2.

5. Admitted to secrets of state. The privy council of a king consists of a number of distinguished persons selected by him to advice him in the administration of the government.

A privy verdict, is one given to the judge out of court, which is of no force unless afterward affirmed by a public verdict in court.

PRIVY, n. In law, a partaker; a person having an interest in any action or thing; as a privy in blood. Privies are of four kinds; privies in blood, as the heir to his father; privies in representation, as executors and administrators to the deceased; privies in estate, as he in reversion and he in remainder; donor and donee; lessor and lessee; privy in tenure, as the lord in escheat.

1. A necessary house.

Privy chamber, in Great Britain, the private apartment in a royal residence or mansion. Gentlemen of the privy chamber are servants of the king who are to wait and attend on him and the queen at court, in their diversions, etc. They are forty eight in number, under the lord chamberlain.

PRIVY-COUNSELOR, n. A member of the privy council.

Privy-counselors are made by the king’s nomination without patent or grant.

PRIVY-SEAL, PRIVY-SIGNET, n. In England, the seal which the king uses previously in grants, etc. which are to pass the great seal, or which he uses in matters of subordinate consequence, which do not require the great seal.

1. Privy-seal, is used elliptically for the principal secretary of state, or person entrusted with the privy-seal.

The king’s sign manual is the warrant to the privy-seal, who makes out a writ or warrant thereon to the chancery. The sign manual is the warrant to the privy-seal, and the privy-seal is the warrant to the great seal.


1. That which is taken from an enemy in war; any species of goods or property seized by force as spoil or plunder; or that which is taken in combat, particularly a ship. A privateer takes an enemy’s ship as a prize. They make prize of all the property of the enemy.

2. That which is taken from another; that which is deemed a valuable acquisition.

Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes,

Soon to obtain and long possess the prize.

3. That which is obtained or offered as the reward of contest.

--I will never wrestle for prize.

I fought and conquer’d, yet have lost the prize.

4. The reward gained by any performance.

5. In colloquial language, any valuable thing gained.

6. The money drawn by a lottery ticket; opposed to blank.

PRIZE, v.t. [L. pretium.]

1. To set or estimate the value of; to rate; as, to prize the goods specified in an invoice.

Life I prize not a straw.

2. To value highly; to estimate to be of great worth; to esteem.

I prize your person, but your crown disdain.

3. To raise with a lever. [See Pry.]