[ pri-rog-uh-tiv, puh-rog- ]
/ prɪˈrɒg ə tɪv, pəˈrɒg- /


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.
Obsolete. precedence.


having or exercising a prerogative.
pertaining to, characteristic of, or existing by virtue of a prerogative.

Nearby words

  1. prereading,
  2. prerecord,
  3. prerecorded,
  4. prerelease,
  5. prerequisite,
  6. prerogative court,
  7. pres,
  8. pres.,
  9. pres. part.,
  10. presa

Origin of prerogative

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin praerogātīvus (adj.) voting first, praerogātīva (noun use of feminine of adj.) tribe or century with right to vote first. See pre-, interrogative Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prerogative

British Dictionary definitions for prerogative


/ (prɪˈrɒɡətɪv) /


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

Word Origin for prerogative

C14: from Latin praerogātīva privilege, earlier: group with the right to vote first, from prae before + rogāre to ask, beg for

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 prerogative



"special right or privilege granted to someone," late 14c. (in Anglo-Latin from late 13c.), from Old French prerogative (14c.), Medieval Latin prerogativa "special right," from Latin praerogativa "prerogative, previous choice or election," originally (with tribus, centuria) "unit of 100 voters who by lot voted first in the Roman comita," noun use of fem. of praerogativus (adj.) "chosen to vote first," from praerogere "ask before others," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + rogare "to ask" (see rogation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper