Definition of privity in English:



  • 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’
    ‘a warehouseman not in privity with the government’
    • ‘Immediate parties are those who, in addition to the privity created by the bill, have a direct legal relationship with each other.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is no problem with privity here: the vital question is instead whether collective bargains are intended to have legal effect.’
    • ‘Under the doctrine of privity, a contract creates rights and responsibilities for the parties to the contract, but for no-one else.’


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