• synonyms


[priv-uh-lijd, priv-lijd]
  1. belonging to a class that enjoys special privileges; favored: the privileged few.
  2. entitled to or exercising a privilege.
  3. restricted to a select group or individual: privileged information; a privileged position.
  4. 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.
  5. Navigation. (of a vessel) having the right of way.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unprivileged

Contemporary Examples of unprivileged

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


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper