American English

Definition of privilege noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//ˈprɪvlɪdʒ//
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  1. 1[countable] a special right or advantage that a particular person or group of people has Education should be a universal right and not a privilege. You can enjoy all the benefits and privileges of club membership. Try not to abuse the privilege of being allowed more freedom.
  2. 2[uncountable] (disapproving) the rights and advantages that rich and powerful people in a society have As a member of the nobility, his life had been one of wealth and privilege.
  3. 3[singular] something that you are proud and lucky to have the opportunity to do synonym honour I hope to have the privilege of working with them again. It was a great privilege to hear her sing. Thesauruspleasuredelight joy privilege treat honorThese are all words for things that make you happy or bring you enjoyment.pleasure a thing that brings you enjoyment or satisfaction:the pleasures and pains of everyday life It's been a pleasure talking with you.delight a thing or person that brings you great enjoyment or satisfaction:the delights of living in the countryjoy a thing or person that brings you great enjoyment or happiness:the joys and sorrows of childhoodpleasure, delight, or joy?A delight or a joy is greater than a pleasure; a person, especially a child, can be a delight or joy, but not a pleasure;joys are often contrasted with sorrows, but delights are not.privilege (somewhat formal) something that you are proud and lucky to have the opportunity to do:It was a great privilege to hear her sing.treat (informal) a thing that someone enjoyed or is likely to enjoy very much:You've never been to this area before? Then you're in for a real treat.honor (formal) something that you are very pleased or proud to do because people are showing you great respect:It was a great honor to be invited to speak here today.Patterns the pleasures/delights/joys of something It's a great pleasure/joy >to me that…> It's a pleasure/delight/joy/privilege/treat/honor >to do something> It's a pleasure/delight/joy >to see/find…> a pleasure/delight/joy to behold/watch a real pleasure/delight/joy/privilege/treat a great pleasure/joy/privilege/honor a rare joy/privilege/treat/honor
  4. 4[countable, uncountable] (technology) a special right to do or say things without being punished Congressional privilege (= the special right of members of Congress to say particular things without risking legal action) breach of privilege (= the breaking of rules about what a member of Congress can say and do)
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: privilege