Definition of premium in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprēmēəm/

noun (plural premiums)

1An amount to be paid for an insurance policy.
Example sentences
  • Correctly computed, the income of a wage earner entitled to a pension consists of his wages plus the amount of the premium he would have to pay to an insurance company for the acquisition of an equivalent claim.
  • Non-group insurance is expensive: premiums and deductibles are higher and overall plan benefits are less generous than for group plans.
  • In some parts of the country, insurance premiums have more than doubled.
2A sum added to an ordinary price or charge: customers are reluctant to pay a premium for organic fruit
More example sentences
  • An indemnity bond is a premium charged by the lender and paid by the customer to insure the lender against a default in mortgage repayments by the borrower.
  • Employers in the restaurant, bar and tourist trade have been particularly vocal in querying the provisions on tips, weekend premiums and service charges.
  • Managers want to pay as small a premium to the market price as possible.
surcharge, additional payment, extra amount
2.1A sum added to interest or wages; a bonus.
Example sentences
  • Much of the increase in the wage premium for education and skills is due to technological change that has increased demand for highly educated workers.
  • American workers who use computers command a wage premium of 15% over workers who do not.
  • In other words, the wage premium earned by the highly skilled is increasing.
2.2 [as modifier] Relating to or denoting a commodity or product of superior quality and therefore a higher price: premium beers
More example sentences
  • In Aberdeen, the licensing board has proposed minimum drink prices in pubs of £1.75 for a pint of beer, cider, premium lager or cocktail.
  • As technology sectors develop, advanced products carrying premium prices become commodities.
  • She said: ‘These are top quality, premium products but we sell them at affordable prices.’
2.3 Stock Market The amount by which the price of a share or other security exceeds its issue price, its nominal value, or the value of the assets it represents: the fund has traded at a premium of 12%
More example sentences
  • The bankers who helped to launch the deal confidently predicted that the shares would trade a premium to net asset value.
  • It is difficult to imagine the shareholders turning the deal down, since it represents a 16 per cent premium to the share price last month.
  • A bid of €3 would represent a premium of over 50 per cent on where the company traded on Friday afternoon.
3Something given as a reward, prize, or incentive: the Society of Arts awarded him a premium
More example sentences
  • It took place originally in the Fair Field, Killarney on the afternoon after the morning show where the winners were selected and premiums awarded.
  • The prize still dangles again this week with the additional premium at E3,200.
  • He was awarded many premiums from officials of the T'ang Dynasty.
bonus, extra;
incentive, inducement
informal perk
formal perquisite



at a premium

1Scarce and in demand: space was at a premium
More example sentences
  • Property is an excellent investment, particularly in Dublin, where space is at a premium but demand remains high.
  • It had a whopping 64MB of memory, so space was at a premium.
  • This was sensible as in mid-summer hut space is at a premium.
scarce, in great demand, hard to come by, in short supply, thin on the ground
2Above the usual or nominal price: books with pristine dust jackets are less common and sell at a premium
More example sentences
  • The price they'll get has been set at a premium above what they could expect to receive from traditional marketing outlets.
  • In Edinburgh the market is still robust and city centre property prices for developers are at a premium.
  • With the development plans in limbo, prices should remain at a premium.

put (or place) a premium on

Regard or treat as particularly valuable or important: he put a premium on peace and stability
More example sentences
  • High fuel costs make commodities more expensive and put a premium on locally produced goods.
  • Instruct your Web designer to put a premium on users' experience; look and feel are as important as functionality.
  • Americans in 1921 placed a premium on efficiency, and Hoover was widely regarded as its embodiment.
value greatly, attach great/special importance to, set great store by, put a high value on
make valuable, make invaluable, make important


Early 17th century (in the sense 'reward, prize'): from Latin praemium 'booty, reward', from prae 'before' + emere 'buy, take'.

  • pre-empt from mid 19th century:

    It you pre-empt someone, you get there first. The original Latin came from prae ‘in advance’ and emere ‘buy’. Pre-emption (early 17th century) was the earliest form of the word, pre-empt being formed from it. The same root lies behind premium (early 17th century).

Words that rhyme with premium

freemium, gelsemium

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pre·mi·um

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