I read a definition of privy in "Merriam Webster" dictionaries which was

Admitted as one sharing in a secret

I don't think the verb admit means to confess here. Does it mean "to acknowledge" in this context? I am also having trouble in understanding the sentence structure relating to the "as one" part in there.

  • 1
    You're asking us to analyse the wording of a dictionary definition!
    – BillJ
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 8:54
  • Yeah, pretty much. See, I know it can't be wrong but I don't quite understand the "as one" part. If the verb "admitted" mean "allowed in" there, then the latter part would have been somewhat like "in a secret".
    – Kelvin
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 9:02
  • 1
    You were already looking at Merriam-Webster, so you could have looked up admit:"2 a : to allow entry (as to a place, fellowship, or privilege)." Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 6:56
  • And as one just means as someone. It's the gender-neutral, third-person singular pronoun—not the number. Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 6:58

1 Answer 1


In this case "admitted" means "allowed in". You would be "admitted into a club", and a movie ticket will often say "admit one".

Admitted as one sharing in a secret

That means a person is "allowed in" to know the secret, or "allowed in to the group who know the secret"... even if that "group" was only one person.

  • I mostly agree with your answer but I don't think the "as one" part means a single person.
    – Kelvin
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 8:52
  • @Kelvin I'm not sure which part you mean, so I'll give two comments. I believe "Admitted as one" clearly refers to a single person being admitted right now. You can't say "We were admitted as one", it would have to be "We were admitted as ones". I also mention the size of the group before the admission: There may have been any number of people who knew the secret, possibly only one person. I didn't want anyone to think "group" had to be plural.
    – Alsee
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 10:02

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