Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

prerogative

play
noun pre·rog·a·tive \pri-ˈrä-gə-tiv\

Simple Definition of prerogative

  • : a right or privilege; especially : a special right or privilege that some people have

Full Definition of prerogative

  1. 1 a :  an exclusive or special right, power, or privilege: as (1) :  one belonging to an office or an official body (2) :  one belonging to a person, group, or class of individuals (3) :  one possessed by a nation as an attribute of sovereignty b :  the discretionary power inhering in the British Crown

  2. 2 :  a distinctive excellence

pre·rog·a·tived play \-tivd\ adjective

Examples of prerogative

  1. That sense that the future may not last for long is often assumed to be a prerogative of youth, the dialectical complement of another misconception the young are noted for—the conviction that they are immortal. —Thomas M. Disch, Atlantic, February 1992

  2. More important than any of this, he offered himself as an incarnation of constitutional propriety so that, temperamentally stubborn, he was careful never to exceed the limits of a prerogative overexploited by the later Stuarts. —Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches, 1988

  3. The secularization of the Presidency is indispensable for the reassertion of congressional and popular prerogative. —Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Cycles of American History, 1986

  4. If you'd rather sell the tickets than use them, that's your prerogative.

  5. It's a writer's prerogative to decide the fate of her characters.



Origin of prerogative

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin praerogativa, Roman century voting first in the comitia, privilege, from feminine of praerogativus voting first, from praerogatus, past participle of praerogare to ask for an opinion before another, from prae- + rogare to ask — more at right


First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with prerogative



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up prerogative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez duvet spindrift kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ