Definition of privity in English:


nounPlural privities

  • A relation between two parties that is recognized by law, such as that of blood, lease, or service.

    ‘the parties no longer have privity with each other’
    • ‘The definition of owner includes any person having an interest in the premises at whose request and with whose privity or consent an improvement is made to the premises.’
    • ‘Under the doctrine of privity, a contract creates rights and responsibilities for the parties to the contract, but for no-one else.’
    • ‘There is no problem with privity here: the vital question is instead whether collective bargains are intended to have legal effect.’
    • ‘Moreover, it is unfair to ask the defendant to take into account the commercial expectations of people with whom he or she is not in privity.’
    • ‘Immediate parties are those who, in addition to the privity created by the bill, have a direct legal relationship with each other.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘secrecy, intimacy’): from Old French privete, from medieval Latin privitas, from Latin privus ‘private’.