en·​ti·​tle·​ment | \ in-ˈtī-tᵊl-mənt How to pronounce entitlement (audio) , en-\

Definition of entitlement

1a : the state or condition of being entitled : right
b : a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract
2 : belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges
3 : a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group also : funds supporting or distributed by such a program

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of entitlement in a Sentence

my entitlement to a refund celebrities who have an arrogant sense of entitlement entitlements such as medical aid for the elderly and poor
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Those promoting big new entitlements didn’t frame their vision in the context of Biden, but as a broader struggle for the future of the Democratic Party. orlandosentinel.com, "Key takeaways from night 1 of the Democratic debate in Miami," 26 June 2019 Surplus doesn’t mean state must start new entitlement Our political leaders in Sacramento need to get out of their bubble of privilege and experience the real world Californians live in. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: State’s huge surplus doesn’t mean we have to create a new entitlement," 13 June 2019 But the headline is a new entitlement for 57 million renters that would push prices up, not down. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Cory Booker Wants to Pay Your Rent," 12 June 2019 An honest discussion about expanding entitlements would recognize that such a change would require higher taxes not just on the super-rich, but on almost all working Americans, of today and tomorrow. Karl W. Smith, Twin Cities, "Karl W. Smith: Billionaires aren’t the problem," 23 June 2019 Considered a key piece of legislation in House Leader Paul Ryan’s bid to reduce entitlements, the bill failed in its first vote on May 18 but passed 213 to 211 Thursday, this time with support from members of the conservative Freedom Caucus. Tara Duggan, SFChronicle.com, "House Republicans propose sweeping cuts to food stamps with passage of 2018 Farm Bill," 21 June 2018 Another term could be male entitlement, McGough says, while referring to Elliot Rodger, a UC Santa Barbara college student who, near the time of McGough’s writing of the play, went on a murderous rampage targeting sorority members. Brandon Yu, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Non-Player Character,’ based on Gamergate, comes to stage in the time of #MeToo," 31 Jan. 2018 The Saudi regime’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi, its reckless military campaign in Yemen, its blockade of Qatar, and its effort to remove Lebanon’s prime minister all show astounding arrogance entitlement, and disregard for international norms. Lindsey Graham, WSJ, "Congress Gets Tough on the Saudis," 3 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, Trump explicitly promised not to touch entitlements, much to the chagrin of the rest of the field. Jeff Stein, chicagotribune.com, "Howard Schultz ignoring 2016's lessons, say Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton alumni," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'entitlement.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of entitlement

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about entitlement

Dictionary Entries near entitlement








Statistics for entitlement

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for entitlement

The first known use of entitlement was in 1782

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for entitlement



English Language Learners Definition of entitlement

: the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something
: the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)
US : a type of financial help provided by the government for members of a particular group



Legal Definition of entitlement

1 : the state or condition of being entitled : claim evidence of victim's entitlement to money seizedNational Law Journal
2 : a right to benefits that is granted especially by law or contract (as an insurance policy)

Note: Some courts have held that entitlements are a property interest and therefore subject to procedural due process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution when denied by federal or state governments.

3 : a government program that provides benefits to members of a group that has a statutory entitlement also : the benefits distributed by such a program

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on entitlement

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!