🤩 Discover new information from across the web



This page has 11 definitions of privilege in English and Old French. Privilege is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use privilege in a sentence are shown. Also define these 21 related words and terms: exemption, law, prerogative, franchise, freelage, immunity, right, opportunity, privileged, advantage, foredeal, finance, option, common law, evidence, computing, grant, deny, user, permission, and privilege.

See also: Privilege and privilège


Alternative forms


From Middle English privilege, from Anglo-Norman privilege and Old French privilege, from Latin prīvilēgium (ordinance or law against or in favor of an individual), from prīvus (private) + lēx, lēg- (law).


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɹɪv(ɪ)lɪdʒ/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: priv‧i‧lege, privi‧lege


privilege (countable and uncountable, plural privileges)

  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.
    • Privileged definition
      simple past tense and past participle of privilege
  5. A right or immunity enjoyed by a legislative body or its members. [from 16th c.]
    Synonym: 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. (law) 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.
    • Common Law definition
      Law developed by judges, courts, and agency adjudicatory tribunals, through their decisions and opinions (also called case law) (as opposed to statutes promulgated by legislatures, and regulations promulgated by the executive branch). (1 of 4 common law definitions)
  8. (computing) An ability to perform an action on the system that can be selectively granted or denied to users.
    Synonym: permission


The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions (senses) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. For synonyms and antonyms you may use the templates {{syn|en|...}} or {{ant|en|...}}.

Derived terms



privilege (third-person singular simple present privileges, present participle privileging, simple 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



  • privilege at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • privilege in Keywords for Today: A 21st Century Vocabulary, edited by The Keywords Project, Colin MacCabe, Holly Yanacek, 2018.
  • privilege in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

Old French


privilege m (oblique plural privileges, nominative singular privileges, nominative plural privilege)

  1. privilege (benefit only given to certain people)