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noun priv·i·lege \ˈpriv-lij, ˈpri-və-\

Simple Definition of privilege

  • : a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others

  • : a special opportunity to do something that makes you proud

  • : the advantage that wealthy and powerful people have over other people in a society

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of privilege

  1. :  a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor :  prerogative; especially :  such a right or immunity attached specifically to a position or an office

Examples of privilege in a sentence

  1. It is evolving into an elite institution, open chiefly to the well-educated few. In short, marriage is becoming yet another form of privilege. —Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Commonweal, 2 Dec. 2005

  2. The oldest of the students, she had become a confidante of Fern's and she alone was allowed to call her by her first name. It was not a privilege the others coveted. —Edward P. Jones, The Known World, 2003

  3. But the two were grown in the same petri dish of power, prep school and privilege. —Howard Fineman, Newsweek, 16 Oct. 2000

  4. Good health care should be a right and not a privilege.

  5. We had the privilege of being invited to the party.

  6. I had the privilege of knowing your grandfather.

  7. He lived a life of wealth and privilege.

Origin and Etymology of privilege

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin privilegium law for or against a private person, from privus private + leg-, lex law

First Known Use: 12th century



verb priv·i·lege \ˈpriv-lij, ˈpri-və-\

Simple Definition of privilege

  • : to give an advantage that others do not have to (someone or something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of privilege



  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to grant a privilege to(see 1privilege)

  3. 2 :  to accord a higher value or superior position to <privilege one mode of discourse over another>

Examples of privilege in a sentence

  1. The new tax laws unfairly privilege the rich.

  2. <only professionals who meet the education and experience requirements set by law are privileged to use the title interior designer in Oklahoma>

Origin and Etymology of privilege

(see 1privilege)

First Known Use: 14th century

PRIVILEGE Defined for Kids


noun priv·i·lege \ˈpri-və-lij\

Definition of privilege for Students

  1. 1 :  a right or liberty granted as a favor or benefit especially to some and not others

  2. 2 :  an opportunity that is special and pleasant <I had the privilege of meeting the president.>

Law Dictionary


noun priv·i·lege

Legal Definition of privilege

  1. 1 :  a right, license, or exemption from duty or liability granted as a special benefit, advantage, or favor: as a :  an exemption from liability where an action is deemed to be justifiable (as in the case of self-defense) or because of the requirements of a position or office; also :  the affirmative defense that an action is privileged — compare excuse absolute privilege :  a privilege that exempts a person from liability especially for defamation regardless of intent or motive; specifically :  a privilege that exempts high public officials (as legislators) from liability for statements made while acting in their official capacity without regard to intent or malice qualified privilege :  a privilege especially in the law of defamation that may be defeated especially by a showing of actual malice —called also conditional privilege b :  an exemption from a requirement to disclose information (as for trial) that is granted because of a relationship or position that demands confidentiality <the attorney-client privilege> <the doctor-patient privilege> <the marital privilege> <the priest-penitent privilege> — see also confidential communication deliberative process privilege :  a privilege exempting the government from disclosure (as in discovery) of government agency materials containing opinions, recommendations, and other communications that are part of the decision-making process within the agency executive privilege :  a privilege exempting the executive branch of government from disclosing communications if such disclosure would adversely affect the functions and decision-making process of that branch — see also United States v. Nixon Editor's note: Executive privilege is based on the separation of powers doctrine. In United States v. Nixon, the Supreme Court held that this privilege is not absolute and that without a claim of a need to protect military, diplomatic, or national security secrets, the need for evidence in a criminal trial will outweigh a general assertion of executive privilege. informant's privilege :  the privilege of the government to withhold the identity of an informant who has provided evidence for a criminal trial —called also informer's privilege journalist's privilege :  reporter's privilege in this entry privilege against self–incrimination :  a privilege under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protecting a person from compulsion to make self-incriminating statements reporter's privilege :  a privilege protecting a reporter from compulsion to reveal information acquired in the course of gathering news —called also journalist's privilege c :  something specially permitted or granted as a matter of discretion that may be limited or taken away <right to…mooring permit is not necessarily created because discretionary state privilege was generously granted in [the] past — National Law Journal> — compare right d in the civil law of Louisiana :  a right of a creditor conferred by the nature of a debt to have priority over the debtor's other creditors

  2. 2 :  any of various fundamental or specially sacred rights considered as particularly guaranteed to all persons by a constitution and especially by the privileges and immunities clause of the U.S. Constitution

Origin and Etymology of privilege

Latin privilegium law affecting a specific person, special right, from privus private + leg- lex law

Seen and Heard

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