What does privilege mean?

Definitions for privilege
ˈprɪv ə lɪdʒ, ˈprɪv lɪdʒpriv·i·lege

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word privilege.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. privilegenoun

    a special advantage or immunity or benefit not enjoyed by all

  2. prerogative, privilege, perquisite, exclusive rightnoun

    a right reserved exclusively by a particular person or group (especially a hereditary or official right)

    "suffrage was the prerogative of white adult males"

  3. privilegeverb

    (law) the right to refuse to divulge information obtained in a confidential relationship

  4. privilege, favor, favourverb

    bestow a privilege upon


  1. privilegenoun

    A peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor; a right or immunity not enjoyed by others or by all; special enjoyment of a good, or exemption from an evil or burden; a prerogative; advantage; franchise; preferential treatment.

  2. privilegenoun

    The status or existence of such benefit or advantage.

  3. privilegenoun

    A common law doctrine that protects certain communications from being used as evidence in court.

  4. privilegeverb

    To grant some particular right or exemption to; to invest with a peculiar right or immunity; to authorize; as, to privilege representatives from arrest.

  5. privilegeverb

    To bring or put into a condition of privilege or exemption from evil or danger; to exempt; to deliver.

  6. Etymology: From privilège, from privilegium, from privus + lex, legis.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Privilegenoun

    Etymology: privilege, Fr. privilegium, Lat.

    Here’s my sword,
    Behold it is the privilege of mine honours,
    My oath, and my profession. William Shakespeare.

    He went
    Invisible, yet stay’d, such privilege
    Hath omnipresence. John Milton.

    He claims his privilege, and says ’tis fit,
    Nothing should be the judge of wit, but wit. John Denham.

    Smiles, not allow’d to beasts, from reason move,
    And are the privilege of human love. Dryden.

    The privilege of birth-right was a double portion. John Locke.

    I beg the ancient privilege of Athens. William Shakespeare.

    A soul that can securely death defy,
    And counts it nature’s privilege to die. Dryden.

  2. To Privilegeverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    The great are privileg’d alone,
    To punish all injustice but their own. Dryden.

    He happier yet, who privileg’d by fate
    To shorter labour, and a lighter weight,
    Receiv’d but yesterday the gift of breath,
    Ordain’d to-morrow to return to death. Matthew Prior.

    The court is rather deemed as a privileged place of unbridled licentiousness, than as the abiding of him, who, as a father, should give a fatherly example. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    He took this place for sanctuary,
    And it shall privilege him from your hands. William Shakespeare.

    This place
    Doth privilege me, speak what reason will. Daniel.

    Many things are by our laws privileged from tythes, which by the canon law are chargeable. Matthew Hale.


  1. Privilege

    Privilege (Set Me Free) is song by the Patti Smith Group and released as the second single from their 1978 album Easter. The original version of the song was titled "Free Me" and was written by Mel London and Mike Leander for the 1967 film Privilege. Patti spoke sections of Psalm 23 over the instrumental bridge among other lyrical additions.


  1. privilege

    Privilege refers to a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people. It is often used in the context of social inequality, where certain groups or individuals have benefits that are unearned and mostly exclusive to them based on aspects such as race, gender, class, or sexual orientation.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Privilegenoun

    a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor; a right or immunity not enjoyed by others or by all; special enjoyment of a good, or exemption from an evil or burden; a prerogative; advantage; franchise

  2. Privilegenoun

    see Call, Put, Spread, etc

  3. Privilegeverb

    to grant some particular right or exemption to; to invest with a peculiar right or immunity; to authorize; as, to privilege representatives from arrest

  4. Privilegeverb

    to bring or put into a condition of privilege or exemption from evil or danger; to exempt; to deliver

  5. Etymology: [Cf. F. privilgier.]


  1. Privilege

    A privilege is a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis. It can be revoked in certain circumstances. In modern democratic states, a privilege is conditional and granted only after birth. By contrast, a right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all citizens or all human beings from the moment of birth. Various older privileges, such as the old common law privilege to title deeds, may still exist, but be of little relevance today. Etymologically a privilege means a "private law", or rule relating to a specific individual or institution. Boniface's abbey of Fulda, to cite an early and prominent example, was granted privilegium, setting the abbot in direct contact with the pope, bypassing the jurisdiction of the local bishop. One of the objectives of the French Revolution was the abolition of privilege. This meant the removal of separate laws for different social classes, instead subjecting everyone to the same common law. Privileges were abolished by the National Constituent Assembly on August 4, 1789. One common legal privilege in the United States is protection from the requirement to testify or provide documents in certain situations.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Privilege

    priv′i-lej, n. an advantage to an individual: a right enjoyed only by a few: freedom from burdens borne by others: prerogative: a sacred and vital civil right: (Shak.) superiority.—v.t. to grant a privilege to: to exempt: to authorise, license.—adj. Priv′ileged.—Breach of privilege, any interference with or slight done to the rights or privileges of a legislative body; Question of privilege, any question arising out of the rights of an assembly or of its members; Writ of privilege, an order for the release of a person from custody. [Fr.,—L. privilegiumprivus, single, lex, legis, a law.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'privilege' in Nouns Frequency: #1553

How to pronounce privilege?

How to say privilege in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of privilege in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of privilege in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of privilege in a Sentence

  1. Jeffrey Tambor:

    For the past four years, I’ve had the huge privilege — and huge responsibility – of playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman, in a show that I know has had an enormous, positive impact on a community that has been too long dismissed and misunderstood, now I find myself accused of behavior that any civilized person would condemn unreservedly.

  2. Robert Kelner:

    ... we have declined to produce documents covered by the attorney-client privilege, and we are preparing a log for the committee detailing what documents are being withheld under that privilege.

  3. Gregory Cheadle , of California:

    President Trump is a rich guy who is mired in white privilege to the extreme, republicans are too sheepish to call him out on anything and they are afraid of losing their positions and losing any power themselves.

  4. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff:

    We have a very capable justice, sitting in that Senate chamber, empowered by the Senate rules to decide issues of evidence and privilege. And so if any of these witnesses have a colorable claim that they wish to make or the President on their behalf, we have a justice who is able to make those determinations, and we trust that the chief justice can do so, unlike in the House, where the President could play rope a dope in the courts for years, that is not an option for the President's team here, and it gives no refuge to people who want to hide behind executive privilege to avoid the truth coming out.

  5. Jennifer Harvey:

    White communities are not negatively impacted by racism, and sometimes we get unjust access to things just because we're white, not because we deserve it, the most dangerous kind of white privilege is to think that we can sit this justice struggle out.

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Translations for privilege

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"privilege." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/privilege>.

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