Word of the Day Archive
Thursday September 13, 2001
privation \pry-VAY-shun\ , noun:
1. An act or instance of depriving.
2. The state of being deprived of something, especially of something required or desired; destitution; need.
The late Georges Bernanos complained that the isolated labor of writing deprived novelists of essential human contacts. This is, indeed, a bitter and painful privation, even if it is in some instances a temperamental preference of novelists.
-- Saul Bellow, "My Man Bummidge", New York Times, September 27, 1964
The Carsons were more often poor than of modest means, and this privation shaped Rachel's opportunities and her personality from the outset.
-- Linda Lear, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature
Poverty had by no means been eliminated, but the extreme privation that had earlier characterized large sections of the country had disappeared.
-- Fred Warner Neal, "Yugoslavia at the Crossroads", The Atlantic, December 1, 1962
Privation derives from Latin privatio, from privatus, past participle of privare, "to strip, to deprive of," originally, "to separate from, to put aside, to exempt," from privus, "single, private."