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

Our cars, our tents, and ourselves improvised a city, 22nd largest in the United States, and the fact of this city, its weather, its privations, its confusion, and its civility, dominated our senses. Philip P. Ardery Jr., National Review, "Upon a Time in Woodstock," 10 Aug. 2019 The main protagonist must navigate betrayal, privation, unimaginable loss and so much more. Denise Davidsonwriter, San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Chimes of a Lost Cathedral’ echo sounds of Russian past, present," 28 July 2019 The Southern way with gravies was born of privation. . . . Aaron Hutcherson, Washington Post, "The surprising history served with a plate of biscuits and gravy," 22 July 2019 When a system posited on delivering the goods to the masses fails to accomplish that task, protests are bound to arise, especially if the people at the very top seem to be benefiting from the privations of others. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Why Socialism Is Back," 18 June 2019 Egypt was also the site of another important development in Christianity: monasticism, a practice born in the deserts of Egypt. Imitating Jesus’ wanderings in the wilderness, holy hermits underwent extreme privations to deepen their faith. National Geographic, "Ancient Egypt gave rise to one of the world's oldest Christian faiths," 19 Apr. 2019 Nor did the stark gray privations of Soviet central planning or wartime rationing, which continued in Britain until four years after Orwell’s death, become permanent. Kyle Smith, National Review, "What Would Orwell Think of Us?," 11 June 2019 But Kim Jong Un experienced none of its privations and probably never saw the suffering of his fellow North Koreans in person. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "‘Great Successor’ book excerpt: Kim Jong Un’s gilded boyhood of chefs, travel and lessons on ruthless rule," 6 June 2019 Mazloumian died shortly afterward, his health having given out amid the danger and privation of the war. Charles Glass, Harper's magazine, "“Tell Me How This Ends”," 10 Feb. 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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Statistics for privation

Last Updated

25 Aug 2019

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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 wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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