priv·​i·​leged | \ ˈpriv-lijd How to pronounce privileged (audio) , ˈpri-və- \

Definition of privileged

1 : having or enjoying one or more privileges privileged classes
2 : not subject to the usual rules or penalties because of some special circumstance especially : not subject to disclosure in a court of law a privileged communication

Examples of privileged in a Sentence

He comes from a very privileged background. The town attracts people who are wealthy and privileged. The President's adviser has a privileged position of trust. She had privileged access to the files. Only the privileged few can become members of the club.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web But women of color—specifically Black and Latina women—who are among the economically privileged in the U.S. are nevertheless more confident in their abilities as investors than their white female peers. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "Why wealthy women of color are more confident investors than their white female peers," 17 Dec. 2020 For once, even the most privileged had few distractions — no dinner parties, no basketball games or shopping excursions. Los Angeles Times, "2020 was the year America embraced Black Lives Matter as a movement, not just a moment," 16 Dec. 2020 The characters are endowed with complex lives and emotions, as well as backgrounds in Aleut culture, Chinese poetry, boat navigation, and—in the botanist’s case—privileged, dogmatic thinking. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "Our reviewers read a lot of books in 2020. Here are their favorites.," 25 Dec. 2020 The hackers behind this supply-chain compromise had privileged access to 18,000 enterprise networks and followed up on only 40 of them. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Microsoft president calls SolarWinds hack an “act of recklessness”," 17 Dec. 2020 But this opaque and arcane process also leaves out critical voices and perspectives that deserve to be heard while echoing the views of a privileged few whose voices are already heavily amplified. Lauren Leader, NBC News, "Lauren Leader: 'Sexist' WSJ op-ed about Jill Biden proves we need more diverse voices in our op-ed pages," 16 Dec. 2020 Historically, this end-of-term bonanza has been the domain of a privileged guilty few, with the general public cut out of the action. Zach Helfand, The New Yorker, "What are the Odds That Trump Pardons Himself?," 14 Dec. 2020 The Obama White House was a celebration not of the privileged few, but of the millions of people who have always made America great. Glamour, "The White House Is the People's House. With Trump Out, It Can Live Up to Its Name," 13 Nov. 2020 If conducted carefully, this strategy can substantially lower risks of transmission, but Kilpatrick notes that only a privileged few can pull it off. Christie Aschwanden, Scientific American, "How to Minimize COVID Risk and Enjoy the Holidays," 10 Nov. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about privileged

Time Traveler for privileged

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for privileged

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Privileged.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for privileged


How to pronounce privileged (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of privileged

sometimes disapproving : having special rights or advantages that most people do not have
law : known only by the people who need to know


priv·​i·​leged | \ ˈpri-və-lijd \

Kids Definition of privileged

: having more things and a better chance in life than most people He comes from a privileged family.



Legal Definition of privileged

: not subject to the usual rules or penalties because of some special circumstance especially : not subject to disclosure especially in an adjudicative proceeding

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on privileged

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!