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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

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February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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