privilege from


[priv-uh-lij, priv-lij]
a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most: the privileges of the very rich.
a special right, immunity, or exemption granted to persons in authority or office to free them from certain obligations or liabilities: the privilege of a senator to speak in Congress without danger of a libel suit.
a grant to an individual, corporation, etc., of a special right or immunity, under certain conditions.
the principle or condition of enjoying special rights or immunities.
any of the rights common to all citizens under a modern constitutional government: We enjoy the privileges of a free people.
an advantage or source of pleasure granted to a person: It's my privilege to be here.
Stock Exchange. an option to buy or sell stock at a stipulated price for a limited period of time, including puts, calls, spreads, and straddles.
verb (used with object), privileged, privileging.
to grant a privilege to.
to exempt (usually followed by from ).
to authorize or license (something otherwise forbidden).

1125–75; (noun) Middle English; earlier privilegie (< Old French privilege) < Latin prīvilēgium orig., a law for or against an individual, equivalent to prīvi- (combining form of prīvus one's own) + lēg- (see legal) + -ium -ium; (v.) Middle English privilegen (< Middle French privilegier) < Medieval Latin prīvilēgiāre, derivative of prīvilēgium

privileger, noun
proprivilege, adjective

1. Privilege, prerogative refer to a special advantage or right possessed by an individual or group. A privilege is a right or advantage gained by birth, social position, effort, or concession. It can have either legal or personal sanction: the privilege of paying half fare; the privilege of calling whenever one wishes. Prerogative refers to an exclusive right claimed and granted, often officially or legally, on the basis of social status, heritage, sex, etc.: the prerogatives of a king; the prerogatives of management. 4. license, freedom, liberty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
privilege (ˈprɪvɪlɪdʒ)
1.  a benefit, immunity, etc, granted under certain conditions
2.  the advantages and immunities enjoyed by a small usually powerful group or class, esp to the disadvantage of others: one of the obstacles to social harmony is privilege
3.  any of the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizens of a country by its constitution
4.  a.  the right of a lawyer to refuse to divulge information obtained in confidence from a client
 b.  the right claimed by any of certain other functionaries to refuse to divulge information: executive privilege
5.  the rights and immunities enjoyed by members of most legislative bodies, such as freedom of speech, freedom from arrest in civil cases during a session, etc
6.  (US) stock exchange call put spread See also straddle a speculative contract permitting its purchaser to make optional purchases or sales of securities at a specified time over a limited period of time
7.  to bestow a privilege or privileges upon
8.  (foll by from) to free or exempt
[C12: from Old French privilēge, from Latin prīvilēgium law relevant to rights of an individual, from prīvus an individual + lēx law]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1154 (recorded earlier in O.E., but as a Latin word), from O.Fr. privilege (12c.), from L. privilegium "law applying to one person," later "privilege," from privus "individual" + lex (gen. legis) "law."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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