[priv-uh-lijd, priv-lijd]


belonging to a class that enjoys special privileges; favored: the privileged few.
entitled to or exercising a privilege.
restricted to a select group or individual: privileged information; a privileged position.
Law. (of utterances or communications)
  1. not rendering the person making them liable to prosecution for libel or slander, in view of the attendant circumstances.
  2. not requiring any testimony concerning them to be presented in court.
Navigation. (of a vessel) having the right of way.

Compare burdened.

Origin of privileged

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at privilege, -ed2, -ed3
Related formsnon·priv·i·leged, adjectivequa·si-priv·i·leged, adjectiveun·priv·i·leged, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unprivileged

Contemporary Examples of unprivileged

  • So we really tried to show people and give them an unprivileged, unseeable view of the natural world.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Extreme Nature Closeups

    Andy Dehnart

    March 18, 2010

Historical Examples of unprivileged

  • The privileged theatres had no other course than to emulate the unprivileged ones.

    The English Stage

    Augustin Filon

  • Henceforth we shall have to compete with other nations on unprivileged conditions.

    The Victorian Age

    William Ralph Inge

  • Young men and unprivileged persons are forbidden to touch it, on pain of severe penalties, which are strictly enforced.

  • There I, an unprivileged and unsuspected hanger-on, lost their trail, returning to my own affairs.

    Plum Pudding

    Christopher Morley

  • By degrees also in this twelfth century forms of literature which busy themselves with the unprivileged classes begin to be born.

British Dictionary definitions for unprivileged



enjoying or granted as a privilege or privileges
  1. not actionable as a libel or slander
  2. (of a communication, document, etc) that a witness cannot be compelled to divulge
nautical (of a vessel) having the right of way
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 unprivileged



late 14c. of things; mid-15c. of persons, past participle adjective from privilege (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper