WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
priv•i•lege /ˈprɪvəlɪdʒ, ˈprɪvlɪdʒ/USA pronunciation
n. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
- a special right or exemption granted to persons in authority that frees them from certain obligations[uncountable]The president claimed executive privilege.
- the principle or condition of enjoying special rights or advantages[uncountable]a life of wealth and privilege.
- a right or advantage that one enjoys, as because of a job[countable]had special parking privileges for as long as she wanted them.
- an advantage or source of pleasure granted to a person[countable]It's my privilege to be here.
(priv′ə lij, priv′lij), n., v., -leged, -leg•ing.
- a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most:the privileges of the very rich.
- a special right, immunity, or exemption granted to persons in authority or office to free them from certain obligations or liabilities:the privilege of a senator to speak in Congress without danger of a libel suit.
- a grant to an individual, corporation, etc., of a special right or immunity, under certain conditions.
- the principle or condition of enjoying special rights or immunities.
- any of the rights common to all citizens under a modern constitutional government:We enjoy the privileges of a free people.
- an advantage or source of pleasure granted to a person:It's my privilege to be here.
- [Stock Exchange.]an option to buy or sell stock at a stipulated price for a limited period of time, including puts, calls, spreads, and straddles.
- to grant a privilege to.
- to exempt (usually fol. by from).
- to authorize or license (something otherwise forbidden).
Etymology:1125–75; (noun, nominal) Middle English;
1 . Privilege, prerogative refer to a special advantage or right possessed by an individual or group. A privilege is a right or advantage gained by birth, social position, effort, or concession. It can have either legal or personal sanction:the privilege of paying half fare;
earlier privilegie ( Old French privilege) Latin prīvilēgium origin, originally, a law for or against an individual, equivalent. to prīvi- (combining form of prīvus one's own) + lēg- (see legal) + -ium -ium;
(verb, verbal) Middle English privilegen ( Middle French privilegier) Medieval Latin prīvilēgiāre, derivative of prīvilēgium
the privilege of calling whenever one wishes.Prerogative refers to an exclusive right claimed and granted, often officially or legally, on the basis of social status, heritage, sex, etc.:the prerogatives of a king; the prerogatives of management. 4 . license, freedom, liberty.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
privilege /ˈprɪvɪlɪdʒ/ n
- a benefit, immunity, etc, granted under certain conditions
- the advantages and immunities enjoyed by a small usually powerful group or class, esp to the disadvantage of others: one of the obstacles to social harmony is privilege
- US a speculative contract permitting its purchaser to make optional purchases or sales of securities at a specified time over a limited period of time
Etymology: 12th Century: from Old French privilēge, from Latin prīvilēgium law relevant to rights of an individual, from prīvus an individual + lēx law
- to bestow a privilege or privileges upon
- (followed by from) to free or exempt
'privilege' also found in these entries: