pri·​va·​tion | \ prī-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce privation (audio) \

Definition of privation

1 : an act or instance of depriving : deprivation
2 : the state of being deprived especially : lack of what is needed for existence

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Synonyms for privation


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Examples of privation in a Sentence

The country has suffered through long periods of economic privation. the constant privation of sleep was starting to affect my work
Recent Examples on the Web Colonial Old Havana may be crumbling, with a tangible air of privation just around the corner from areas that have been beautified for tourists, but many residents know each other by name. Tony Perrottet, WSJ, "Cuba Is Staying Strong," 7 Sep. 2020 Even after generations of bloodshed, Afghans continue to nurture a sense of possibility, bearing their country’s privations with an enviable strength of spirit. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, "Living in a war zone: What it teaches about surviving a pandemic," 29 Apr. 2020 With shelter-in-place orders expected to extend into May or longer, many small businesses are unlikely to reopen and will require additional funding to avoid privation and depression. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "How much money will the US need to cover small-business wages?," 7 Apr. 2020 Ms Lightfoot, who grew up poor in Ohio, speaks personally about privation. The Economist, "Policing poverty Chicago’s mayor thinks she has a plan to end poverty in a generation," 5 Mar. 2020 The mountain people routinely and purposefully put themselves into states of extreme privation—exposure to the elements, and to gravity and chance. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Survivor’s Guilt in the Mountains," 24 Feb. 2020 After the privations of the Second World War, the country joined a continent-wide push to banish hunger from Europe. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "Can Farming Make Space for Nature?," 10 Feb. 2020 But the authors of a recent study suggest that the nation’s lifespan reversal is being driven by diseases linked to social and economic privation, a health care system with glaring gaps and blind spots, and profound psychological distress. Melissa Healy,, "Suicides and overdoses among factors fueling drop in US life expectancy," 3 Dec. 2019 Increasingly, conspicuous consumption of the Ben Ali and Trabelsi families threw into sharp relief the privilege enjoyed by the few in power and the privation of the vast majority of Tunisians. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, "Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisian despot whose ouster helped spark Arab Spring, dies at 83," 19 Sep. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for privation

Middle English privacion, from Anglo-French, from Latin privation-, privatio, from privare to deprive

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Time Traveler for privation

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The first known use of privation was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Privation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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How to pronounce privation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of privation

formal : a lack or loss of the basic things that people need to live properly

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