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  1. a prize, bonus, or award given as an inducement, as to purchase products, enter competitions initiated by business interests, etc.
  2. a bonus, gift, or sum additional to price, wages, interest, or the like.
  3. Insurance. the amount paid or to be paid by the policyholder for coverage under the contract, usually in periodic installments.
  4. Economics. the excess value of one form of money over another of the same nominal value.
  5. a sum above the nominal or par value of a thing.
  6. the amount paid to the lender of stock by the borrower, typically a short seller.
  7. the amount the buyer of a call or put option pays to the seller, quoted in dollars per share of stock.
  8. a fee paid for instruction in a trade or profession.
  9. a sum additional to the interest paid for the loan of money.
  1. of exceptional quality or greater value than others of its kind; superior: a wine made of premium grapes.
  2. of higher price or cost.
  3. of or relating to premiums: to work in premium sales.
  1. at a premium,
    1. at an unusually high price.
    2. in short supply; in demand: Housing in that area is at a premium.

Origin of premium

First recorded in 1595–1605, premium is from the Latin word praemium profit, reward
Related formsnon·pre·mi·um, nounsu·per·pre·mi·um, adjective, noun

Synonyms for premium

See more synonyms for on
2. reward. See bonus. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for premium

Contemporary Examples of premium

Historical Examples of premium

  • If she gits a premium for puttin' up gardin-sass, I'll warrant there'll be a to-do.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • Also, a premium can be contracted for, in the way of free association, for skilled labour.


    Theodor Hertzka

  • Although why should there be such a premium placed on intelligence, he wondered.

  • Now, good food is cheap while skilled labor is at a premium.

  • My dear father bought them—I should not be surprised to learn that he bought them at a premium.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for premium


  1. an amount paid in addition to a standard rate, price, wage, etc; bonus
  2. the amount paid or payable, usually in regular instalments, for an insurance policy
  3. the amount above nominal or par value at which something sells
    1. an offer of something free or at a specially reduced price as an inducement to buy a commodity or service
    2. (as modifier)a premium offer
  4. a prize given to the winner of a competition; award
  5. US an amount sometimes charged for a loan of money in addition to the interest
  6. great value or regardto put a premium on someone's services
  7. a fee, now rarely required, for instruction or apprenticeship in a profession or trade
  8. at a premium
    1. in great demand or of high value, usually because of scarcity
    2. above par

Word Origin for premium

C17: from Latin praemium prize, booty, reward
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

Word Origin and History for premium

c.1600, "reward given for a specific act," from Latin praemium "reward, profit derived from booty," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + emere "to buy," originally "to take" (see exempt (adj.)). Insurance sense is 1660s, from Italian premio. Adjectival sense of "superior in quality" is first attested 1925, originally in reference to butter.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with premium


see at a premium; put a premium on.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.