priv·i·lege (prĭvə-lĭj, prĭvlĭj)
a. A special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste. See Synonyms at right.
b. Such an advantage, immunity, or right held as a prerogative of status or rank, and exercised to the exclusion or detriment of others.
2. The principle of granting and maintaining a special right or immunity: a society based on privilege.
a. Protection from being forced to disclose confidential communications in certain relationships, as between attorney and client, physician and patient, or priest and confessor.
b. Protection from being sued for libel or slander for making otherwise actionable statements in a context or forum where open and candid expression is deemed desirable for reasons of public policy.
4. An option to buy or sell a stock, including put, call, spread, and straddle.
tr.v. priv·i·leged, priv·i·leg·ing, priv·i·leg·es
1. To grant a privilege to.
2. To free or exempt.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 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.