Definition of privation in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /prʌɪˈveɪʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1A state in which food and other essentials for well-being are lacking: years of rationing and privation [count noun]: the privations of life at the front
More example sentences
  • The fight for survival was the topical issue in Italy after World War II and privations, hardships and misery were everywhere.
  • Man per man, the average Confederate soldier made more hard marches, suffered more privations, risked his life more frequently, was wounded more times, and died more often than the average Union soldier.
  • She spoke of tense meetings as mothers faced a terrible dilemma: keep their children close and have them suffer the privations of the camp, or send them to the other side of the world.
disadvantage, austerity;
suffering, affliction, distress, misery
2 formal The loss or absence of a quality or attribute that is normally present: cold is the privation of heat
More example sentences
  • By arguing in such a way, Mr. Hart draws upon and restates, with verve and ornament, the classical Christian view that all evil is an absence, a privation of good.
  • Evil is merely privative, not absolute: it is like cold, which is the privation of heat.
  • It points to a privation of being, to the absence of moral, spiritual being, in Panurge.


Middle English: from Latin privatio(n-), from privat- 'deprived', from the verb privare (see private).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pri¦va|tion

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words