Definition of prerogative in English:

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Pronunciation: /prəˈräɡədiv/


1A right or privilege exclusive to a particular individual or class: owning an automobile was still the prerogative of the rich
More example sentences
  • The investment was heralded far and wide, and this Malaysian-based group was given privileges and prerogatives, including labour exemptions, apparently as part of the incentives for them to set up shop here.
  • Changing a future child's genetic makeup, and experimenting with the genetic legacy of humanity, fall outside any acceptable notion of individual rights or parental prerogatives.
  • The difference was that these middle-class Peruvians did not lose any prerogatives or privileges.
entitlement, right, privilege, advantage, due, birthright
1.1A faculty or property distinguishing a person or class: it’s not a female prerogative to feel insecure
More example sentences
  • While admiration of the moon is a distinctive women's activity in a garden setting, this was not purely a female prerogative.
  • In contrast, the elegantly cultivated beard was long the prerogative of royalty and the privileged classes.
1.2 (also royal prerogative) The right of the sovereign, which in British law is theoretically subject to no restriction.
Example sentences
  • Courtiers enforced them with impunity, since patents rested on royal prerogative - the common law courts lacked the power to vet them without royal assent.
  • His theory of democracy in which an assembly of citizens would exercise sovereign prerogative was clearly inadequate.
  • Power can be responsible, strong government can be democratic, and presidential prerogative can be constitutional.


[attributive] British Law
Arising from the prerogative of the Crown (usually delegated to the government or the judiciary) and based in common law rather than statutory law: the monarch retained the formal prerogative power to appoint the Prime Minister
More example sentences
  • Query whether it is under the prerogative powers of the Crown.
  • The common law and the prerogative law does not tend to like absolutes.
  • Was this a prerogative act, such as only the Crown and its military servants could order and perform?


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin praerogativa '(the verdict of) the political division that was chosen to vote first in the assembly', feminine (used as noun) of praerogativus 'asked first', from prae 'before' + rogare 'ask'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pre·rog·a·tive

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