The Meaning of Prerogative: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of prerogative? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word prerogative, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word prerogative mean?

According to the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and Collins English Dictionary, the word prerogative refers to a  prior or exclusive right or privilege, especially if it is particular to a rank or class. This distinctly superior advantage can also refer to a priority or precedence. There are many types or prerogative attributes, including the royal prerogative, the virtue of a prerogative, the prerogative of affluent amateurs, a writer’s prerogative, prerogative court, and more. Prerogative is four syllables – pre-rog-a-tive, and the pronunciation of prerogative is prɪˈrɒɡətɪv.

According to Educalingo, in law, the term prerogative refers to an exclusive right given from a government or state and invested in an individual or group. The content of this right is separate from the normal body of right under general law of the normative state. Prerogatives were a common facet of feudal law. While this word has come to mean an egalitarian condition of the right for anyone’s own self-determination in modern popular culture usage, this is the antithesis of the legal historic use of the term. Historically, this meant having private exclusion from anyone.

According to Word Sense, many different languages also use words that mean prerogative. You may notice that many of these translations of prerogative look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases that look and sound similar in different languages and also mean the same thing. These are often formed when two words have the same origin or root. 

  •  Finnish: etuoikeus‎
  •  French: prérogative‎ (fem.)
  •  Hungarian: kiváltság‎
  •  Portuguese: prerrogativa‎ (fem.)
  •  Spanish: prerrogativa‎ (fem.)
  •  Italian: privilegio‎ (masc.), prerogativa‎ (fem.)
  •  Scottish Gaelic: còir-dhlighe‎ (fem.)
  •  German: Prärogative‎ (fem.), Bevorrechtung‎ (fem.), Privileg‎ (neut.), Vorrecht‎ (neut.), Anrecht‎ (neut.)
  •  Russian: прерогати́ва‎ (fem.), привиле́гия‎ (fem.)

What is the origin of the word prerogative?

According to Dictionary, the Anglo-Norman prerogative has been used since 14c Middle English and comes from the Old French prerogative and Latin praerogātīvus/praerogativus, an adjective meaning “voting first,” from the Latin praerogative/Latin praerogātīva privilege, a noun meaning “tribe or century with right to vote first” and the past participle of praerogāre and praerogātus. This comes from the root prae and rogātus, the past participle of rogāre meaning to ask, from Indo-European roots and Anglo-French roots. This comes from certain people having the official right to the first vote on an important verdict. 

What are synonyms and antonyms of prerogative?

There are many different words that one can use in place of the word prerogative. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are very useful English grammatical devices to know because they can help you to avoid repeating yourself as well as to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word prerogative is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  immunity
  •  leave
  •  carte blanche
  •  mandate
  •  birthright
  •  say-so
  •  blank check
  •  title
  •  advantage
  •  right
  •  command
  •  jurisdiction
  •  privilege
  •  appanage
  •  superiority
  •  rights
  •  benefit
  •  free hand
  •  license
  •  latitude
  •  freedom
  •  due
  •  claim
  •  seniority
  •  influence
  •  entitlement
  •  priority
  •  authorization
  •  exclusive right
  •  inherent advantage
  •  exclusive privilege
  •  essential possession
  •  hereditary right
  •  right of way
  •  body of rights
  •  characteristic
  •  attribute
  •  franchise
  •  droit
  •  leeway
  •  free rein
  •  option
  •  sanction
  •  merits
  •  perquisite
  •  licence
  •  power
  •  liberty
  •  permission
  •  authority
  •  charter
  •  concession
  •  dispensation
  •  control
  •  precedence
  •  sovereignty
  •  scope
  •  exemption

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word prerogative. These are called antonyms. Antonyms are also useful to know if you are trying to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of antonyms is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  corruption
  •  dishonor
  •  bar
  •  disallowing
  •  interdiction
  •  injunction
  •  restraint
  •  obligation
  •  barring
  •  moratorium
  •  drawback
  •  disapproval
  •  duty
  •  evil
  •  veto
  •  refusal
  •  limitation
  •  forbidding
  •  vetoing
  •  restriction
  •  handicap
  •  prohibition
  •  disadvantage
  •  rejection
  •  immorality
  •  debit
  •  strike
  •  crime
  •  constraint
  •  opposition
  •  badness
  •  making illegal
  •  prejudice
  •  proscription
  •  disallowance
  •  interdicting
  •  outlawing
  •  embargo
  •  prohibiting
  •  ban
  •  inequity
  •  debarment
  •  denial
  •  injustice
  •  banning
  •  subordination
  •  interdict
  •  obstruction
  •  dishonesty
  •  dishonour

How can the word prerogative be used in a sentence?

The word prerogative can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also make flashcards or quizzes for yourself to test your knowledge of different words in the English language. Try using this word of the day in a  sentence today! Below are a few different examples of the word prerogative to help get you started.

By the virtue of rank, the particular office of the specific person in the sovereign government were exempt from taxation. This group of people consisting of persons of a particular category worked for non-profits and community engagement groups and could therefore make tax-free purchases.

While suffrage was the prerogative of white adult males, women has no previous choice by hereditary rank and had to fight for the voting prerogative. They knew there was a better way to live.

The couple had enough disposable income that it was their prerogative to go wherever they wanted on vacation. The teacher’s prerogative, however, was much more limited. The prerogatives of a senator were much different than that of a teacher by income.

The fate of her characters was the writer’s prerogative. No matter how voters wanted the story to end, it was her talent that decided.

Overall, the word prerogative means an inherent right or privilege. This word is of Indo-European and Latin origin.


  1. PREROGATIVE – Definition and synonyms of prerogative in the English dictionary | Educalingo 
  2. Prerogative synonyms – 834 Words and Phrases for Prerogative | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Prerogative antonyms – 197 Opposites of Prerogative | Power Thesaurus 
  4. prerogative: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  5. Prerogative | Definition of Prerogative |