Definition of prerogative
1a : an exclusive or special right, power, or privilege: such as (1) : one belonging to an office or an official body (2) : one belonging to a person, group, or class of individuals (3) : one possessed by a nation as an attribute of sovereigntyb : the discretionary power inhering in the British Crown
2 : a distinctive excellence
prerogativedplay \-tivd\ adjective
prerogative was our Word of the Day on 12/22/2007. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of prerogative in a Sentence
That sense that the future may not last for long is often assumed to be a prerogative of youth, the dialectical complement of another misconception the young are noted for—the conviction that they are immortal. —Thomas M. Disch, Atlantic, February 1992
More important than any of this, he offered himself as an incarnation of constitutional propriety so that, temperamentally stubborn, he was careful never to exceed the limits of a prerogative overexploited by the later Stuarts. —Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches, 1988
The secularization of the Presidency is indispensable for the reassertion of congressional and popular prerogative. —Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Cycles of American History, 1986
If you'd rather sell the tickets than use them, that's your prerogative.
It's a writer's prerogative to decide the fate of her characters.
Recent Examples of prerogative from the Web
Though Billie Lourd and Taylor Lautner never officially confirmed their relationship status (which was totally their prerogative, BTW), the pair were total goals in basically every way.
As the best player in a league with overflowing revenues, that is his prerogative.
Another broadened the powers of the nation's Ombudsman, giving him the authority to carry out criminal investigations that until now had been the exclusive prerogative of Ortega's office.
Trump ran as a militant advocate of untrammeled prerogative for law enforcement.
Legislation and oversight are equally important congressional prerogatives, each of enormous public interest, but only the latter is producing big news at the moment.
And for the second time, the presidential prerogative known as executive privilege looms over the proceedings.
Her choice to remain in the couple's New York City penthouse until their son, Barron, 11, finishes the school year, while unprecedented, but certainly is her prerogative as a parent as disruptions are impactful for children.
Instead, Blackstone addressed the topic in his chapter on the British king’s prerogative powers.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prerogative'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In ancient Rome, voting at legal assemblies was done by group, with the majority in a group determining its vote. The group chosen to vote first on an issue was called the "praerogativa" (that term traces to a verb meaning "to ask for an opinion before another"). Because the first vote was considered to be of great importance, Latin speakers also used the noun "praerogativa" to mean "preference" and later "privilege." As "praerogativa" passed through Anglo-French and Middle English, its spelling shifted to create the noun we know today.
Origin and Etymology of prerogative
Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin praerogativa, Roman century voting first in the comitia, privilege, from feminine of praerogativus voting first, from praerogatus, past participle of praerogare to ask for an opinion before another, from prae- + rogare to ask — more at right
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
PREROGATIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prerogative for English Language Learners
: a right or privilege; especially : a special right or privilege that some people have
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up prerogative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).