Definition of privilege noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈprɪvəlɪdʒ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈprɪvəlɪdʒ//
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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. Synonymspleasuredelight joy privilege treat honourThese 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 meeting 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 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 (rather 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 somebody enjoyed or is likely to enjoy very much:You’ve never been to this area before? Then you’re in for a real treat.honour/​honor (formal) something that you are very pleased or proud to do because people are showing you great respect:It was a great honour to be invited 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/​honour 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/​honour a rare joy/​privilege/​treat/​honour See related entries: Proud
  4. 4[countable, uncountable] (specialist) a special right to do or say things without being punished parliamentary privilege (= the special right of members of parliament to say particular things without risking legal action) breach of privilege (= the breaking of rules about what a member of parliament can say and do)
  5. Word OriginMiddle English: via Old French from Latin privilegium ‘bill or law affecting an individual’, from privus ‘private’ + lex, leg- ‘law’.Extra examples He was accused of abusing his diplomatic privileges. I was given the dubious privilege of organizing the summer fair. It is a great privilege to be attending this conference. She had the rare privilege of a viewing of his private art collection. an abuse of diplomatic privileges Club members have special privileges, like being allowed to use the swimming pool. Education should be a universal right and not just a privilege. His life had always been one of wealth and privilege. Prisoners’ behaviour is controlled by a system of punishments and privileges. Real choice in education remains the privilege of the middle classes. Top party officials were accused of granting privileges to their friends and family.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: privilege