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


deprivation, loss

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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

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has many enemies, not least millions of Venezuelans who have endured the privation and brutality of his socialist rule. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Venezuela’s Drone Attack," 5 Aug. 2018 Even when chaos and privation seem implacable, the human drive for dignity and validation abides. Erika P. Rodriguez, Smithsonian, "Photo of the day," 27 June 2018 Funny that existentialism doesn’t seem such a downer anymore, now that the omnipresent threat to our humanity is not material privation but informational excess. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Giacometti: Beguiled by Thin Men and Women," 6 June 2018 Your condition resembles a state of nature, except without the threat of privation or predation: There are perfectly safe sandwiches, apples in reasonable shape and, frequently, a store featuring a wide range of Tom Ford fragrances. Sasha Chapin, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: Airport Layovers," 29 May 2018 Despite these privations, analysts say there are few signs that North Korea’s economy has reached a breaking point. New York Times, "Sanctions Are Hurting North Korea. Can They Make Kim Give In?," 20 Apr. 2018 And third, the force that is best positioned to take advantage of chaos, privation, public anger, and anti-Americanism is not Iranian liberals, but the hardest of hardliners in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Heather Hurlburt, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Continues to Rebrand America As Weird and Flaky," 8 May 2018 Though hunger and privation have taken their toll on Venezuelans, the government still backs production of anti-capitalist and anti-Trump videos aimed at influencing American voters, including many on the far left. Fox News, "With social media, Venezuela exerts influence on Americans," 10 Apr. 2018 There were obstacles and privations for white immigrants but every step was upward; care and concern could be found. Martin Luther King Jr., The Atlantic, "The Crisis in America’s Cities," 31 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for privation

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Time Traveler for privation

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

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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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Comments on privation

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


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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