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 That’s what the rulebook calls a divorced woman who can collect benefits from her ex’s Social Security record independent of his entitlement to benefits. Tom Margenau, Dallas News, 5 Sep. 2021 And yet, these people — who bristle with sinister entitlement — are not accustomed to being turned down. Peter Debruge, Variety, 3 Sep. 2021 Ian James reported Friday that Arizona is anticipating a cutback of 512,000 acre-feet, or roughly 20 percent of its annual entitlement, next year. Nick Martin, The New Republic, 3 May 2021 If there are fewer returners with a hefty list of accomplishments, there likely won’t be a sense of entitlement for playing time and roles. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, 26 Aug. 2021 When power becomes disproportionate to a creature’s level of intelligence or its sphere of reasonable entitlement, that creature starts to look stupid. Garret Keizer, Harper's Magazine, 17 Aug. 2021 Spending on infrastructure had clearly been crowded out over time by entitlement spending, dropping by about half a percent relative to GDP from its peak in the 1950s. Kevin A. Hassett, National Review, 10 Aug. 2021 Such conflicts are rooted, experts say, in a sense of consumer entitlement piqued by pandemic restrictions, and then riven by political discontent. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Aug. 2021 That imbalance turns out to be crucial to this film’s indictment of the cruelty that is excused in the name of genius, its unsparing dissection of male entitlement. New York Times, 5 Aug. 2021

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

Time Traveler for entitlement

Time Traveler

The first known use of entitlement was in 1782

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near entitlement




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for entitlement

Last Updated

11 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Entitlement.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entitlement. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

More from Merriam-Webster on entitlement

Nglish: Translation of entitlement for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of entitlement for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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