1. An exclusive right or privilege held by a person or group, especially a hereditary or official right. See Synonyms at right.
2. The exclusive right and power to command, decide, rule, or judge: "Encyclicals became direct exercises of papal prerogative" (Garry Wills).
Of, arising from, or exercising a prerogative.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin praerogātīva, feminine of praerogātīvus, asked first, from praerogātus, past participle of praerogāre, to ask before : prae-, pre- + rogāre, to ask; see reg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.