Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Pristine adjective [ Latin pristinus , akin to prior : confer French pristin . See Prior , adjective ] Belonging to the earliest period or state; original; primitive; primeval; as, the pristine state of innocence; the pristine manners of a people; pristine vigor.

Pritch noun [ See Prick .]
1. A sharp-pointed instrument; also, an eelspear. [ Prov. Eng.]

2. Pique; offense. [ Obsolete] D. Rogers.

Pritchel noun A tool employed by blacksmiths for punching or enlarging the nail holes in a horseshoe.

Prithee interj. A corruption of pray thee ; as, I prithee ; generally used without I . Shak.

What was that scream for, I prithee ?
L'Estrange.

Prithee , tell me, Dimple-chin.
E. C. Stedman.

Prittle-prattle noun [ See Prattle .] Empty talk; trifling loquacity; prattle; -- used in contempt or ridicule. [ Colloq.] Abp. Bramhall.

Privacy noun ; plural Privacies . [ See Private .]
1. The state of being in retirement from the company or observation of others; seclusion.

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

Her sacred privacies all open lie.
Rowe.

3. Concealment of what is said or done. Shak.

4. A private matter; a secret. Fuller.

5. See Privity , 2. [ Obsolete] Arbuthnot.

Privado noun [ Spanish , from Latin privatus . See Private .] A private friend; a confidential friend; a confidant. [ Obsolete] Fuller.

Privatdocent noun ; G. plural -docenten . [ Also Privatdozent .] [ G.; privat private + docent teacher. See Docent .] In the universities of Germany and some other European countries, a licensed teacher or lecturer having no share in the university government and dependent upon fees for remuneration.

Private adjective [ Latin privatus apart from the state, peculiar to an individual, private, properly past participle of privare to bereave, deprive, originally, to separate, from privus single, private, perhaps originally, put forward (hence, alone, single) and akin to prae before. See Prior , adjective , and confer Deprive , Privy , adjective ]
1. Belonging to, or concerning, an individual person, company, or interest; peculiar to one's self; unconnected with others; personal; one's own; not public; not general; separate; as, a man's private opinion; private property; a private purse; private expenses or interests; a private secretary.

2. Sequestered from company or observation; appropriated to an individual; secret; secluded; lonely; solitary; as, a private room or apartment; private prayer.

Reason . . . then retires
Into her private cell when nature rests.
Milton.

3. Not invested with, or engaged in, public office or employment; as, a private citizen; private life. Shak.

A private person may arrest a felon.
Blackstone.

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

5. Having secret or private knowledge; privy. [ Obsolete]

Private act or statute , a statute exclusively for the settlement of private and personal interests, of which courts do not take judicial notice; -- opposed to a general law , which operates on the whole community. -- Private nuisance or wrong . See Nuisance . -- Private soldier . See Private , noun , 5. -- Private way , a right of private passage over another man's ground. Kent.

Private (prī"vat) noun


1. A secret message; a personal unofficial communication. [ Obsolete] Shak.

2. Personal interest; particular business. [ Obsolete]

Nor must I be unmindful of my private .
B. Jonson.

3. Privacy; retirement. [ Archaic] "Go off; I discard you; let me enjoy my private ." Shak.

4. One not invested with a public office. [ Archaic]

What have kings, that privates have not too?
Shak.

5. (Mil.) A common soldier; a soldier below the grade of a noncommissioned officer. Macaulay.

6. plural The private parts; the genitals.

In private , secretly; not openly or publicly.

Privateer (prī`vȧ*tēr") noun [ From Private .]
1. An armed private vessel which bears the commission of the sovereign power to cruise against the enemy. See Letters of marque , under Marque .

2. The commander of a privateer.

Kidd soon threw off the character of a privateer and became a pirate.
Macaulay.

Privateer intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Privateered ; present participle & verbal noun Privateering .] To cruise in a privateer.

Privateering noun Cruising in a privateer.

Privateersman noun ; plural Privateersmen An officer or seaman of a privateer.

Privately (prī"vat*lȳ) adverb


1. In a private manner; not openly; without the presence of others.

2. In a manner affecting an individual; personally; not officially; as, he is not privately benefited.

Privateness noun


1. Seclusion from company or society; retirement; privacy; secrecy. Bacon.

2. The state of one not invested with public office.

Privation (pri*vā"shŭn) noun [ Latin privatio : confer French privation . See Private .]
1. The act of depriving, or taking away; hence, the depriving of rank or office; degradation in rank; deprivation. Bacon.

2. The state of being deprived or destitute of something, especially of something required or desired; destitution; need; as, to undergo severe privations .

3. The condition of being absent; absence; negation.

Evil will be known by consequence, as being only a privation , or absence, of good.
South.

Privation mere of light and absent day.
Milton.

Privative adjective [ Latin privativus : confer French privatif . See Private .]
1. Causing privation; depriving.

2. Consisting in the absence of something; not positive; negative.

Privative blessings, blessings of immunity, safeguard, liberty, and integrity.
Jer. Taylor.

3. (Gram.) Implying privation or negation; giving a negative force to a word; as, alpha privative ; privative particles; -- applied to such prefixes and suffixes as a- (Gr. ...), un- , non- , -less .

Privative noun


1. That of which the essence is the absence of something.

Blackness and darkness are indeed but privatives .
Bacon.

2. (Logic) A term indicating the absence of any quality which might be naturally or rationally expected; -- called also privative term .

3. (Gram.) A privative prefix or suffix. See Privative , adjective , 3.

Privatively adverb In a privative manner; by the absence of something; negatively. [ R.] Hammond.

Privativeness noun The state of being privative.

Privet noun [ Confer Scot. privie , Prov. English prim-print , primwort . Prob. for primet , and perhaps named from being cut and trimmed. See, Prim , adjective , and confer Prime to prune, Prim , noun , Prie , noun ] (Botany) An ornamental European shrub ( Ligustrum vulgare ), much used in hedges; -- called also prim .

Egyptian privet . See Lawsonia . -- Evergreen privet , a plant of the genus Rhamnus . See Alatern . -- Mock privet , any one of several evergreen shrubs of the genus Phillyrea . They are from the Mediterranean region, and have been much cultivated for hedges and for fancifully clipped shrubberies.

Privilege noun [ French privilège , Latin privilegium an ordinance or law against or in favor of an individual; privus private + lex , legis , law. See Private , and Legal .]


1. A peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor; a right or immunity not enjoyed by others or by all; special enjoyment of a good, or exemption from an evil or burden; a prerogative; advantage; franchise.

He pleads the legal privilege of a Roman.
Kettlewell.

The privilege birthright was a double portion.
Locke.

A people inheriting privileges , franchises, and liberties.
Burke.

2. (Stockbroker's Cant) See Call , Put , Spread , etc.

Breach of privilege . See under Breach . -- Question of privilege (Parliamentary practice) , a question which concerns the security of a member of a legislative body in his special privileges as such. -- Water privilege , the advantage of having machinery driven by a stream, or a place affording such advantage. [ U. S.] -- Writ of privilege (Law) , a writ to deliver a privileged person from custody when arrested in a civil suit. Blackstone.

Syn. -- Prerogative; immunity; franchise; right; claim; liberty. -- Privilege , Prerogative . Privilege , among the Romans, was something conferred upon an individual by a private law; and hence, it denotes some peculiar benefit or advantage, some right or immunity, not enjoyed by the world at large. Prerogative , among the Romans, was the right of voting first; and, hence, it denotes a right of precedence, or of doing certain acts, or enjoying certain privileges, to the exclusion of others. It is the privilege of a member of Congress not to be called in question elsewhere for words uttered in debate. It is the prerogative of the president to nominate judges and executive officers. It is the privilege of a Christian child to be instructed in the true religion. It is the prerogative of a parent to govern and direct his children.

Privilege transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Privileged ; present participle & verbal noun Privileging .] [ Confer French privilégier .]


1. To grant some particular right or exemption to; to invest with a peculiar right or immunity; to authorize; as, to privilege representatives from arrest.

To privilege dishonor in thy name.
Shak.

2. To bring or put into a condition of privilege or exemption from evil or danger; to exempt; to deliver.

He took this place for sanctuary, And it shall privilege him from your hands.
Shak.

Privileged adjective Invested with a privilege; enjoying a peculiar right, advantage, or immunity.

Privileged communication . (Law) (a) A communication which can not be disclosed without the consent of the party making it, -- such as those made by a client to his legal adviser, or by persons to their religious or medical advisers . (b) A communication which does not expose the party making it to indictment for libel, -- such as those made by persons communicating confidentially with a government, persons consulted confidentially as to the character of servants, etc. -- Privileged debts (Law) , those to which a preference in payment is given out of the estate of a deceased person, or out of the estate of an insolvent. Wharton. Burrill. -- Privileged witnesses (Law) witnesses who are not obliged to testify as to certain things, as lawyers in relation to their dealings with their clients, and officers of state as to state secrets; also, by statute, clergymen and physicans are placed in the same category, so far as concerns information received by them professionally.

Privily adverb In a privy manner; privately; secretly. Chaucer. 2 Pet. ii. 1.

Privity noun ; plural Privities (-tĭz). [ From Privy , adjective : confer French privauté extreme familiarity.]


1. Privacy; secrecy; confidence. Chaucer.

I will unto you, in privity , discover . . . my purpose.
Spenser.

2. Private knowledge; joint knowledge with another of a private concern; cognizance implying consent or concurrence.

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

3. A private matter or business; a secret. Chaucer.

4. plural The genitals; the privates.

5. (Law) A connection, or bond of union, between parties, as to some particular transaction; mutual or successive relationship to the same rights of property.

Privy adjective [ French privé , from Latin privatus . See Private .]


1. Of or pertaining to some person exclusively; assigned to private uses; not public; private; as, the privy purse. " Privee knights and squires." Chaucer.

2. Secret; clandestine. " A privee thief." Chaucer.

3. Appropriated to retirement; private; not open to the public. " Privy chambers." Ezek. xxi. 14.

4. Admitted to knowledge of a secret transaction; secretly cognizant; privately knowing.

His wife also being privy to it.
Acts v. 2.

Myself am one made privy to the plot.
Shak.

Privy chamber , a private apartment in a royal residence. [ Eng.] -- Privy council (Eng. Law) , the principal council of the sovereign, composed of the cabinet ministers and other persons chosen by the king or queen. Burrill. -- Privy councilor , a member of the privy council. -- Privy purse , moneys set apart for the personal use of the monarch; also, the title of the person having charge of these moneys. [ Eng.] Macaulay. -- Privy seal or signet , the seal which the king uses 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; also, elliptically, the principal secretary of state, or person intrusted with the privy seal. [ Eng.] -- Privy verdict , a verdict given privily to the judge out of court; -- now disused. Burrill.

Privy noun ; plural Privies


1. (Law) A partaker; a person having an interest in any action or thing; one who has an interest in an estate created by another; a person having an interest derived from a contract or conveyance to which he is not himself a party. The term, in its proper sense, is distinguished from party . Burrill. Wharton.

2. A necessary house or place; a backhouse.

Prizable adjective Valuable. H. Taylor.

Prize (prīz) noun [ French prise a seizing, hold, grasp, from pris , past participle of prendre to take, Latin prendere , prehendere ; in some senses, as 2 (b) , either from, or influenced by, French prix price. See Prison , Prehensile , and confer Pry , and also Price .]


1. That which is taken from another; something captured; a thing seized by force, stratagem, or superior power.

I will depart my pris , or my prey, by deliberation.
Chaucer.

His own prize ,
Whom formerly he had in battle won.
Spenser.

2. Hence, specifically; (a) (Law) Anything captured by a belligerent using the rights of war; esp., property captured at sea in virtue of the rights of war, as a vessel. Kent. Brande & C. (b) An honor or reward striven for in a competitive contest; anything offered to be competed for, or as an inducement to, or reward of, effort.

I'll never wrestle for prize more.
Shak.

I fought and conquered, yet have lost the prize .
Dryden.

(c) That which may be won by chance, as in a lottery.

3. Anything worth striving for; a valuable possession held or in prospect.

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Phil. iii. 14.

4. A contest for a reward; competition. [ Obsolete] Shak.

5. A lever; a pry; also, the hold of a lever. [ Written also prise .]

Prize court , a court having jurisdiction of all captures made in war on the high seas. Bouvier. -- Prize fight , an exhibition contest, esp. one of pugilists, for a stake or wager. -- Prize fighter , one who fights publicly for a reward; -- applied esp. to a professional boxer or pugilist. Pope. -- Prize fighting , fighting, especially boxing, in public for a reward or wager. -- Prize master , an officer put in charge or command of a captured vessel. -- Prize medal , a medal given as a prize. -- Prize money , a dividend from the proceeds of a captured vessel, etc., paid to the captors. -- Prize ring , the ring or inclosure for a prize fight; the system and practice of prize fighting. -- To make prize of , to capture. Hawthorne.

Prize transitive verb To move with a lever; to force up or open; to pry. [ Written also prise .]

Prize transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Prized ; present participle & verbal noun Prizing .] [ French priser , Old French prisier , preisier , from Latin pretiare , from pretium worth, value, price. See Price , and confer Praise .] [ Formerly written also prise . ]


1. To set or estimate the value of; to appraise; to price; to rate.

A goodly price that I was prized at.
Zech. xi. 13.

I prize it [ life] not a straw, but for mine honor.
Shak.

2. To value highly; to estimate to be of great worth; to esteem. "[ I] do love, prize , honor you. " Shak.

I prized your person, but your crown disdain.
Dryden.

Prize noun [ French prix price. See 3d Prize . ] Estimation; valuation. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Prizeman noun ; plural Prizemen The winner of a prize.

Prizer noun [ See 3d Prize .] One who estimates or sets the value of a thing; an appraiser. Shak.

Prizer noun [ See 1st Prize .] One who contends for a prize; a prize fighter; a challenger. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Appeareth no man yet to answer the prizer .
B. Jonson.

Prizing noun [ See 2d Prize .] The application of a lever to move any weighty body, as a cask, anchor, cannon, car, etc. See Prize , noun , 5.

Pro preposition [ Latin ; akin to prae before, Greek ..., and English for . See For , prep ., and confer Prior , adjective ] A Latin preposition signifying for , before , forth .

Pro confesso [ Latin ] (Law) , taken as confessed. The action of a court of equity on that portion of the pleading in a particular case which the pleading on the other side does not deny. -- Pro rata . [ Latin See Prorate .] In proportion; proportion. -- Pro re nata [ Latin ] (Law) , for the existing occasion; as matters are.

Pro adverb For, on, or in behalf of, the affirmative side; -- in contrast with con .

Pro and con , for and against, on the affirmative and on the negative side; as, they debated the question pro and con ; -- formerly used also as a verb. -- Pros and cons , the arguments or reasons on either side.

Pro rata [ Latin ] In proportion; proportionately; according to the share, interest, or liability of each.

Pro thyalosoma noun ; plural Prothyalosomata . [ New Latin , from Greek prw^tos first + "y`alos glass + ..., ..., body.] (Biol.) The investing portion, or spherical envelope, surrounding the eccentric germinal spot of the germinal vesicle.

Pro- [ Latin pro , or Greek .... See Pro .] A prefix signifying before , in front , forth , for , in behalf of , in place of , according to ; as, pro pose, to place before; pro ceed, to go before or forward; pro ject, to throw forward; pro logue, part spoken before (the main piece); pro pel, pro gnathous; pro vide, to look out for; pro noun, a word instead of a noun; pro consul, a person acting in place of a consul; pro portion, arrangement according to parts.

Proa noun [ Malay prā ..., pr āh... .] (Nautical) A sailing canoe of the Ladrone Islands and Malay Archipelago, having its lee side flat and its weather side like that of an ordinary boat. The ends are alike. The canoe is long and narrow, and is kept from overturning by a cigar-shaped log attached to a frame extending several feet to windward. It has been called the flying proa , and is the swiftest sailing craft known.

Proach intransitive verb See Approach . [ Obsolete]

Proatlas noun [ Prefix pro- + atlas .] (Anat.) A vertebral rudiment in front of the atlas in some reptiles.

Probabiliorism noun The doctrine of the probabiliorists.

Probabiliorist noun [ From Latin probabilior , compar. of probabilis probable.] (Casuistry) One who holds, in opposition to the probabilists, that a man is bound to do that which is most probably right.

Probabilism noun [ Confer French probabilisme .] The doctrine of the probabilists.

Probabilist noun [ Confer French probabiliste .]


1. One who maintains that certainty is impossible, and that probability alone is to govern our faith and actions.

2. (Casuistry) One who maintains that a man may do that which has a probability of being right, or which is inculcated by teachers of authority, although other opinions may seem to him still more probable.