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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web This tendency towards a kind of louche, showy entitlement did not begin with the drama. The Economist, "The Flyte club Published 75 years ago, “Brideshead Revisited” set off a lasting cult," 11 June 2020 Reversing that amount of red ink will require tax increases and entitlement reform, the congressman told the Washington Examiner. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "Tax increases and entitlement reform required to address skyrocketing debt," 11 June 2020 In San Francisco, several similar projects have come in at nearly $800,000 a unit and can often take three to five years to get through entitlement and construction. J.k. Dineen, SFChronicle.com, "Faster and cheaper: San Francisco saves by building housing for homeless with modular construction," 1 July 2020 Charles Sykes, author of A Nation of Victims: The Decay of the American character, noted that this stems in part from the entitlement of groups and individuals for happiness and fulfillment. Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific American, "Unraveling the Mindset of Victimhood," 29 June 2020 Republicans have long been the guardians against tax increases, and Democrats have rebuffed efforts to reduce benefits from entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "Tax increases and entitlement reform required to address skyrocketing debt," 11 June 2020 More than $21 million is earmarked for San Antonio ISD and more than $11 million for North East ISD, according to entitlement amounts listed on the TEA website. Krista Torralva, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio’s Northside ISD chief says budget will be stable under ‘best case scenario’," 10 June 2020 Moreover, surviving tough times appears to reduce narcissism and feelings of entitlement—at least among men. Adam Grant, The Economist, "The world after covid-19 Adam Grant on how jobs, bosses and firms may improve after the crisis," 1 June 2020 Amy Cooper called the police because of an unquestioned sense of entitlement to open space. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Racist Gatekeepers of American Land," 29 May 2020

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.

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First Known Use of entitlement

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for entitlement

Time Traveler

The first known use of entitlement was in 1782

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Statistics for entitlement

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Entitlement.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entitlement. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for entitlement


How to pronounce entitlement (audio)

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

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