ex·​clu·​sive | \ ik-ˈsklü-siv How to pronounce exclusive (audio) , -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)
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


exclusiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for exclusive

Synonyms: Adjective

single, sole, unshared

Antonyms: Adjective


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

These historic and massive college football cathedrals have become a popular novelty in the summer music scene not exclusive to country acts. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al.com, "Why there aren’t concerts in Bryant-Denny Stadium, the brief history of shows there," 15 July 2019 Three-day Ultimate Hang passes — KAABOO’s most exclusive and expensive three-day VIP ticket option at $20,000 each — are already sold out. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, "KAABOO Del Mar announces daily schedule and single-day tickets," 15 July 2019 Above Beverly Hills in the ultra-exclusive enclave of Billionaires Row, one of the last empty lots has sold to entertainment mogul David Geffen for $30 million. Jack Flemming, latimes.com, "Hot Property: Rocker Lindsey Buckingham takes a bow in Brentwood," 13 July 2019 That wouldn't be unprecedented; the New Nintendo 3DS line featured a similar internal chip upgrade that allowed for a few exclusive/upgraded games that took advantage of the new system's faster clock speed. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Evidence points to another Switch hardware revision on the horizon," 12 July 2019 Welcome to #TBT Mixtape, Billboard's series that showcases artists' very own throwback-themed playlists exclusive to Billboard's Spotify account. Nick Williams, Billboard, "Listen to Latin Superstar Sofia Reyes' 'Dance, Beach & Summer'-Themed #TBT Mixtape," 11 July 2019 Joining the paranza — the lifting team of about 300 men — had for 116 years been a sacred and exclusive rite of passage, passed down from father to son. Derek M. Norman, New York Times, "A 72-Foot Spire and a 116-Year-Old Tradition in Need of a Few Brooklyn Hipsters," 11 July 2019 The New-Style Super NES also lacked the expansion port that was only ever used for the Japan-exclusive Satellaview peripheral, which let users access games and other content over satellite broadcasts. Sam Byford, The Verge, "A brief history of cutdown game consoles," 11 July 2019 Greenblatt will try to lure new customers to HBO Max with new original series and movies exclusive to the service. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "AT&T's new streaming service to be called HBO Max, with 'Friends' as a top offering," 9 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Prime exclusive: Audible 3-month subscription for $4.95 per month at Amazon (Prime members, new to Audible only - list price $44.85). Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: Prime members can get one year of Audible for $119," 27 June 2019 Heyman, in his hiring announcement, touted EW's cover real estate, which regularly showcases first-look stills and exclusives from blockbuster films and top shows. Erik Hayden, The Hollywood Reporter, "Entertainment Weekly Cuts 13 Staffers As It Becomes a Monthly," 7 June 2019 This year, the event gained extra exclusives with NBC coverage, highlighting the Original Denver Derby Party as the largest Kentucky Derby party outside of Kentucky. Kelli Williams, The Denver Post, "LIV SIR broker Ron Martinez presents three four-year scholarships on behalf of the Sean Ranch Lough Foundation," 6 June 2019 Vogueworld Meet the Top 14 Models of Fall 2019 In the age of social media, landing a coveted runway exclusive is no longer the sole way for a new face to distinguish herself during Fashion Month. Vogue, "Meet the Top 14 Models of Fall 2019," 13 Mar. 2019 What’s less clear, at least at the moment, is whether past Windows 10 Store exclusives will come to Steam as well. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Every future Xbox game Microsoft makes for PC will launch on Steam, too," 30 May 2019 Making a Murderer really initiated the idea in 2015 and streaming-service-exclusive shows such as Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, The Act, and Mindhunter have lured viewers away from cable. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Time of True Crime," 26 Apr. 2019 Dell’s Mobile Connect software, once exclusive to Dell PCs and now available to all Windows PCs and Android phones, has already performed screen mirroring for about 15 months. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Android phone mirroring arrives in new Windows 10 preview build 18356," 13 Mar. 2019 For the new issue of Hunger, Yara covers the magazine in a Chanel exclusive look styled by Jason Bolden and photographed by Jamie Nelson. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Yara Shahidi Wears Chanel on the Cover of "Hunger"," 13 Mar. 2019

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

19 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce exclusive (audio) , -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).


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!