[ ik-skloo-siv, -ziv ]
/ ɪkˈsklu sɪv, -zɪv /
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See synonyms for: exclusive / exclusives / exclusively / exclusivity on Thesaurus.com

Journalism. a piece of news, or the reporting of a piece of news, obtained by a newspaper or other news organization, along with the privilege of using it first.
an exclusive right or privilege: to have an exclusive on providing fuel oil to the area.
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Origin of exclusive

First recorded in 1400–50; 1900–05 for def. 13; (adjective) late Middle English from Medieval Latin exclūsīvus; see exclusion, -ive


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does exclusive mean?

Exclusive is most commonly used to describe things that are limited to certain people.

Exclusive can be thought of as an adjective form of the verb exclude, which means to shut out or keep out—the opposite of include. It can be applied in many different contexts, but almost all of them have to do with there being a limit on something, especially on how many people have access to something.

Exclusive can also be used as a noun referring to something that is available from only one place, especially a news story that is only being reported by a particular news organization or a product that is only being offered by one store.

Example: The highly exclusive event was only for A-list celebrities, but they let Ryan Reynolds in for some reason.

Where does exclusive come from?

Exclusive has been used in English since at least the 1400s. It ultimately derives from the Latin verb exclūdere, which means “to shut out” or “to close off” and is formed from the parts ex-, meaning “out” and clūdere, meaning “to close.”

Exclusive has many different shades of meaning, but almost all of them relate to the idea of limiting things, shutting people out, or keeping things separate. It can mean “incompatible,” as in pain and happiness are mutually exclusive. It often means “limited to certain people,” as in an exclusive offer for our top customers or an exclusive resort. Clubs are exclusive if they only let certain people in. The word is often associated with fashion, especially things that are expensive and not available to a lot of people, as in exclusive boutiques. Sometimes an object can be described as exclusive without specifying the limitations involved, as in invitations to that party are very exclusive—meaning they’re very limited and selectively given.

Another common way that exclusive is used is to describe things that are only available to one person, or in one way, or through one provider, as in exclusive information or exclusive rights to the screenplay. This sense often gets turned into a noun. A news story that is only being provided by a single outlet can be called an exclusive, meaning it’s a story no one else has reported on or one that no one else has the right to pursue or publish, such as an interview with a public figure.

The opposite of exclusive is inclusive, and the two terms are often used in discussions of how organizations and groups can be less exclusive and more inclusive.

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What are some other forms related to exclusive?

  • exclusively (adverb)
  • exclusivity (noun)
  • exclusiveness (noun)

What are some synonyms for exclusive?

What are some words that share a root or word element with exclusive


What are some words that often get used in discussing exclusive?

How is exclusive used in real life?

Exclusive is often used to make things sound special and exciting, so you’ll see it used a lot in advertising and marketing.

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Is exclusive used correctly in the following sentence?

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How to use exclusive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for exclusive

/ (ɪkˈskluːsɪv) /

an exclusive story; a story reported in only one newspaper

Derived forms of exclusive

exclusively, adverbexclusivity (ˌɛkskluːˈsɪvɪtɪ) or exclusiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012