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

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 Mandatory spending which is entitlements, that goes to $2 trillion over the next decade. NBC News, "Meet the Press - April 15, 2018," 15 Apr. 2018 Mandatory spending which is entitlements, that goes to $2 trillion over the next decade. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Paul Ryan has no good answers for the ballooning deficits that happened under his watch," 15 Apr. 2018 Finally, Schultz’s fixation on entitlement cuts betrays either an ignorance of – or callous indifference to – the bleak finances of America’s retirees. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Democrats Must Reject Howard Schultz and His Radical Centrist Ideology," 6 June 2018 The transformation is somewhat surprising, since Trump ran as candidate unencumbered by party orthodoxy, willing to decry entitlement cuts and criticize George W. Bush for the lies that led to the Iraq War. Jeet Heer, New Republic, "The Republicans Killed Anti-Trumpism," 10 Jan. 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.

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First Known Use of entitlement

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for entitlement

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for entitlement

The first known use of entitlement was in 1782

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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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Comments on entitlement

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