See also: Privilege and privilège


English Wikipedia has an article on:

Alternative formsEdit


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, (UK dialect) 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.
    • 1941, George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn, Pt. III:
      People who at any other time would cling like glue to their miserable scraps of privilege, will surrender them fast enough when their country is in danger.
    • 2013 October 21, Azad Essa, “South Africa's 'miracle transition' has not put an end to white privilege”, in The Guardian[1], Guardian Media Group:
      There is no complexity expressed in the feverish discussions of white privilege that periodically grips South Africa's chattering class.
    • 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.]
    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.
  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 termsEdit



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 termsEdit



  • 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 FrenchEdit


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

  1. privilege (benefit only given to certain people)


  • English: privilege
  • Middle French: privilege