en·​ti·​tle·​ment | \in-ˈtī-tᵊl-mənt, 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

BP’s was flat, but its underlying production—excluding divestments and entitlement impacts in its production-sharing agreements—was up 6.8%. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Shell Needs to Produce Energy, Not Just Cash," 1 Nov. 2018 This entitlement to always be catered to and be the most important people in the room even when others are be excluded and hurt is the root cause for sexism in our community. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Two Riot Games employees depart after defending a women-only PAX West event to League players," 7 Sep. 2018 Benjamin, who at first seems morally superior, turns out to be blind to his own sense of entitlement. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: With ‘Skintight,’ Idina Menzel Takes On a Straight Play. Sort Of.," 21 June 2018 Unfortunately, one of the richest, technologically advanced and educated counties in California is also so entrenched in feelings of entitlement that it can’t be bothered to reach out to others. latimes.com, "Refusal to provide drug users with clean needles is shameful," 13 June 2018 Paladino, an investment adviser, said rewarding kids for showing up can lead to lingering feelings of entitlement. Jeff Barker, baltimoresun.com, "Should youth sports hand out participation trophies? At least one Maryland program has decided not to.," 4 May 2018 Past deals to raise the spending caps were offset with (roughly) equal entitlement-spending savings. Brian Riedl, National Review, "Republicans Begin a Spending Spree," 9 Feb. 2018 Some golden generations splutter and cough and, sealed in a bubble of entitlement, never come close to delivering. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Trophy Window Suddenly Shrinks for Belgium's Golden Generation," 10 July 2018 They were shocked by my friend’s display of entitlement. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Parent catches child being cruel at the pool," 22 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

Share entitlement

Statistics for entitlement

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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)

: 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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

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!