an exclusive right, privilege, etc., exercised by virtue of rank, office, or the like: the prerogatives of a senator.
a right, privilege, etc., limited to a specific person or to persons of a particular category: It was the teacher's prerogative to stop the discussion.
a power, immunity, or the like restricted to a sovereign government or its representative: The royal prerogative exempts the king from taxation.
having or exercising a prerogative.
pertaining to, characteristic of, or existing by virtue of a prerogative.
Praerogātīva also meant “the verdict or vote of this tribe or century; a prior verdict, election, right, or claim.” Medieval Latin developed the sense ““a previous choice, sure sign, special right, privilege,” and in Anglo-French and Old French prerogative meant “a privilege accorded to certain dignitaries, a special right or privilege exercised by the monarch.” By the early 15th century, Middle English prerogative meant “a precedence, superiority, or preeminence,” a meaning now obsolete. The common thread that remains in the current senses of the word in English are aspects of meaning related to a right, privilege, or power.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use prerogative in a sentence
There’s got to be a better way for the city to register community engagement, even while duly elected representatives retain their voting prerogative.Politics Report: What the Dramatic Council President Contest Taught Us | Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts | December 12, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
Competitive trail running, and, for that matter, the fevered pursuit of random FKTs, remains largely the prerogative of affluent amateurs with enough disposable income and time to spend their weekends endlessly gallivanting in the Marin Headlands.Behind the Scenes of a Unique FKT Attempt in Kenya | Martin Fritz Huber | November 24, 2020 | Outside Online
As for which prerogative takes precedence, it’s a line we all have to draw somewhere and adjust daily.How Does Your COVID-19 Risk Tolerance Compare to Others? | Chris Wilson | October 19, 2020 | Time
The company’s “mission” is his prerogative, so long as he is in charge.
Promising to deliver on another reform, Lightfoot has worked to reduce the power of aldermen, such as by limiting their “prerogative” over matters large and small in their wards.When Is a Meeting Not a Meeting and a Lawmaker Not a Lawmaker? When It’s Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago. | by Mick Dumke | September 24, 2020 | ProPublica
It is entirely the government's prerogative to accede to these requests or not.In Italy, Religious Minorities Struggle (Vainly) for Official Recognition | Anna Momigliano | November 14, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
That is our prerogative, but if we exercise it, we should have a little rule among ourselves.
It was an unusual step—a first, in fact—to involve the federal government in what had always been state prerogative.How the Gay-Civil-Rights Movement Defeated the Defense of Marriage Act | Linda Hirshman | June 3, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
“He is an adult and if he wants to disappear it is his prerogative,” French said.
Perhaps one constant, then, in Fiasco's life is that he reserves the prerogative to quit something once it no longer feels right.
But Mrs. Dodd, the present vicar's wife, retained the precious prerogative of choosing the book to be read at the monthly Dorcas.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
If one man injures another, the prerogative of pardon should belong to the injured man.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
He is not worshipped in any temple, having lost this prerogative on account of his ambitious desire to find out the Supreme Being.A Woman's Journey Round the World | Ida Pfeiffer
Although it was a school of 250 boys, the sixth-form, with all their privileges, had no prerogative of authority.Eric, or Little by Little | Frederic W. Farrar
The manner in which the question of the crown's prerogative arose in this case was explained by the lord-chancellor.The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. | E. Farr and E. H. Nolan
British Dictionary definitions for prerogative
an exclusive privilege or right exercised by a person or group of people holding a particular office or hereditary rank
any privilege or right
a power, privilege, or immunity restricted to a sovereign or sovereign government
having or able to exercise a prerogative
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