ex·​clu·​sive | \ik-ˈsklü-siv, -ziv\

Definition of exclusive 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : excluding or having power to exclude

b : limiting or limited to possession, control, or use by a single individual or group

2a : excluding others from participation

b : snobbishly aloof

3a : accepting or soliciting only a socially restricted patronage (as of the upper class)

b : stylish, fashionable

c : restricted in distribution, use, or appeal because of expense

4a : single, sole exclusive jurisdiction

b : whole, undivided his exclusive attention



Definition of exclusive (Entry 2 of 2)

: something exclusive: such as

a : a news story at first released to or reported by only one source

b : an exclusive right (as to sell a particular product in a certain area)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from exclusive


exclusively adverb
exclusiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for exclusive

Synonyms: Adjective

à la mode (also a la mode), chic, cool [slang], fashionable, happening, hip, in, modish, sharp, smart, snappy, stylish, supercool, swell, trendy, voguish

Antonyms: Adjective

dowdy, out, outmoded, styleless, unfashionable, unstylish

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

In words such as expel, export, and exclusive, the prefix ex- means "out of, outside". Thus, to exclude means basically to close the door in order to keep someone or something out. When the word appears in an advertisement, it's often making an appeal to snobs. An "exclusive" offer is supposedly made to only a few people; not so many years ago, "exclusive" housing developments excluded those of a certain race or color. If a product is being sold exclusively by one store, you won't be able to find it anywhere else. When a newspaper or news show has an exclusive, it's a story that no one else has yet reported. Exclusive's antonym is inclusive; an inclusive policy, an inclusive church, or an inclusive approach is one that aims to include as many people as possible.

Examples of exclusive in a Sentence


He belongs to an exclusive club. She attended an exclusive private school. one of the city's most exclusive restaurants They gave their exclusive attention to the job.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Help support our mission to bring you exclusive insight into Sacramento's only major pro sports team by subscribing today. Jason Jones, sacbee, "Mistaken for other rising stars, can Zach Auguste make a name for himself with Kings?," 12 July 2018 Want the ultimate dish on the latest celebrity food news, plus exclusive recipes, videos and more? PEOPLE.com, "How to Get Free McDonald's Fries and More Deals on Friday for National French Fry Day," 13 July 2018 Yes, Schnatter's donor agreement with the university provides him an exclusive right to request name changes at the stadium his pizza dough helped build. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Bendapudi manages first University of Louisville crisis magnificently," 13 July 2018 In more intensive collaborations, brokers are teaming up with developers in exchange for exclusive listing rights when the condominiums come to market. Amy Gamerman, WSJ, "Like Your Apartment’s Design? Thank Your Agent," 12 July 2018 The new bridge will have enough room for bike lanes, which give bikers the exclusive right of way by a pavement stripe and signage on both shoulders, according to the California Department of Transportation. Claire Morgan, sacbee, "Rio Linda Boulevard bridge replacement to widen road, add bike lanes," 27 June 2018 AbbVie gets exclusive rights to the technology for four years. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Scripps Research, AbbVie join in large cancer therapy alliance," 25 June 2018 Fox Sports owns the exclusive broadcast rights in the United States, with games to be shown live on Fox (chs. C.j. Doon, baltimoresun.com, "How to watch the 2018 World Cup: TV schedule, groups, odds and what you need to know," 13 June 2018 For English speakers in the United States, Fox Sports has exclusive broadcasting rights and will be showing every game. Adrienne So, WIRED, "How to Watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The content lineup is further bolstered by My5 exclusives, including East Los High and Wonderland. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, "Viacom U.K.'s Channel 5 Streaming Service Adds PBS," 4 July 2018 Of course, a few non-exclusives did manage to sneak in there (albeit briefly). Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Sony PlayStation at E3: The Last of Us Part II, Spider-Man, Nioh 2, and unsurprising blockbusters," 11 June 2018 In another no-gameplay tease, Wolfenstein Cyberpilot was announced as a VR exclusive with nothing more than a title announcement, but the new VR shooter will be playable on this year's E3 show floor. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Bethesda at E3: Elder Scrolls VI, Starfield confirmed for “next generation”," 11 June 2018 Attendees will see exciting sneak peeks of Marvel's Spider-Man, Marvel Powers United VR, and Marvel Battle Lines, with many unannounced surprises and panel exclusives. Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Comic-Con 2018: Here's your Thursday schedule," 6 July 2018 Since its 2015 relaunch by an alliance of some of the world’s biggest musicians, Tidal has relied heavily on video and music exclusives as a growth strategy. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Even Beyoncé and Jay-Z's New Album Probably Can't Revive Tidal," 17 June 2018 And that’s basically what Sony did Monday night, content to focus on the exclusives that have been its strong suit the past few years. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Sony PlayStation at E3: The Last of Us Part II, Spider-Man, Nioh 2, and unsurprising blockbusters," 11 June 2018 The online sale exclusive to Prime members offers over a million rapid-fire deals on TVs, smart home gadgets, kitchen items, groceries, toys, fashion, furniture, appliances, back-to-school supplies, and everyday essentials. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "How to Know if Amazon Prime Is Truly Worth It for You and Your Family," 10 July 2018 The expansion will also be sold on its own for $40 or in a deluxe bundle for $80 with additional exclusives in-game items. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Destiny 2’s huge Forsaken expansion tries to recapture the magic of the original," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exclusive.' 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 exclusive


1515, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about exclusive

Statistics for exclusive

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exclusive

The first known use of exclusive was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for exclusive



English Language Learners Definition of exclusive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not shared : available to only one person or group

: only allowing in people from a high social class

: available to only a few people because of high cost



English Language Learners Definition of exclusive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a news story that appears in only one newspaper or that is broadcast by only one television or radio station


ex·​clu·​sive | \ik-ˈsklü-siv, -ziv\

Kids Definition of exclusive

1 : excluding or trying to exclude others an exclusive neighborhood

2 : sole entry 4 sense 2 Residents have exclusive use of the beach.

3 : entire, complete Please give me your exclusive attention.

Other Words from exclusive

exclusively adverb



Legal Definition of exclusive 

1a : excluding or having power to exclude others exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveriesU.S. Constitution art. I

b : being independent from or not shared by others : sole exclusive control exclusive use

2 : limiting or limited to possession, ownership, or use by a single individual or group an exclusive lease

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on exclusive

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


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

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


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!