[priv-uh-lij, priv-lij]


verb (used with object), priv·i·leged, priv·i·leg·ing.

Nearby words

  1. privatization,
  2. privatization issue,
  3. privatize,
  4. privet,
  5. privet hawk,
  6. privileged,
  7. privileged altar,
  8. privileged site,
  9. privily,
  10. privity

Origin of privilege

1125–75; (noun) Middle English; earlier privilegie (< Old French privilege) < Latin prīvilēgium orig., a law for or against an individual, equivalent to prīvi- (combining form of prīvus one's own) + lēg- (see legal) + -ium -ium; (v.) Middle English privilegen (< Middle French privilegier) < Medieval Latin prīvilēgiāre, derivative of prīvilēgium

SYNONYMS FOR privilege
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; 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.

Related formspriv·i·leg·er, nounpro·priv·i·lege, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for privilege

British Dictionary definitions for privilege



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 othersone of the obstacles to social harmony is privilege
any of the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizens of a country by its constitution
  1. the right of a lawyer to refuse to divulge information obtained in confidence from a client
  2. the right claimed by any of certain other functionaries to refuse to divulge informationexecutive privilege
the rights and immunities enjoyed by members of most legislative bodies, such as freedom of speech, freedom from arrest in civil cases during a session, etc
US stock exchange a speculative contract permitting its purchaser to make optional purchases or sales of securities at a specified time over a limited period of timeSee also call (def. 61), put (def. 20), spread (def. 24c), straddle (def. 9)

verb (tr)

to bestow a privilege or privileges upon
(foll by from) to free or exempt

Word Origin for privilege

C12: from Old French privilēge, from Latin prīvilēgium law relevant to rights of an individual, from prīvus an individual + lēx law

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 privilege
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper