• IPA: /ˈpɹɪv(ɪ)lɪdʒ/


  1. (ecclesiastical law, now, chiefly, historical) An exemption from certain laws granted by the Pope. [from 8th c.]
  2. (countable) A particular benefit, advantage, or favor; a right or immunity enjoyed by some but not others; a prerogative, preferential treatment. [from 10th c.]
    Synonyms: franchise, freelage, immunity, prerogative, right
    All first-year professors here must teach four courses a term, yet you're only teaching one! What entitled you to such a privilege?
  3. An especially rare or fortunate opportunity; the good fortune (to do something). [from 14th c.]
    • 2012, The Observer, letter, 29 April:
      I had the privilege to sit near him in the House for a small part of his Commons service and there was an additional device provided to aid his participation in debates.
  4. (uncountable) The fact of being privileged; the status or existence of (now especially social or economic) benefit or advantage within a given society. [from 14th c.]
    Synonyms: advantage, foredeal
    • c. 1390, Geoffrey Chaucer, Melibeus:
      He is worthy to lesen his priuilege that mysvseth the myght and the power that is yeuen hym.
    • 1938, George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia:
      In that community where no one was on the make, where there was a shortage of everything but no privilege and no boot-licking, one got, perhaps, a crude forecast of what the opening stages of Socialism might be like.
    • 2013, The Guardian, 21 Oct, (headline):
      South Africa's 'miracle transition' has not put an end to white privilege.
  5. A right or immunity enjoyed by a legislative body or its members. [from 16th c.]
    Synonyms: immunity
    • 2001, The Guardian, leader, 1 May:
      Dr Grigori Loutchansky is – according to a congressman speaking under congressional privilege – a "purported Russian mob figure".
  6. (countable, US, finance, now, rare) A stock market option. [from 19th c.]
  7. (legal) A common law doctrine that protects certain communications from being used as evidence in court.
    Your honor, my client is not required to answer that; her response is protected by attorney-client privilege.
  8. (computing) An ability to perform an action on the system that can be selectively granted or denied to users.
    Synonyms: permission
Synonyms Translations Translations Verb

privilege (privileges, present participle privileging; past and past participle privileged)

  1. (archaic) To grant some particular right or exemption to; to invest with a peculiar right or immunity; to authorize
    to privilege representatives from arrest
  2. (archaic) To bring or put into a condition of privilege or exemption from evil or danger; to exempt; to deliver.
Related terms Translations Translations

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