Prerogative : Definition, Meaning, and Examples

Last Updated on
March 28, 2023
  1. Refers to a right or privilege that is exclusive to a particular individual or group
  2. It can also refer to the power or authority to make decisions or take action without needing approval from others.
  3. It is often used to describe a special advantage or benefit someone has due to their position or status.
  4. Can be applied to various contexts, such as politics, law, and social interactions

Keep reading to learn more about the word 'prerogative' and its meaning, background, and use cases.

Prerogative Definition: What Does Prerogative mean? 

A prerogative is a special right or privilege unique to certain individuals or groups, based on their position or status. It allows them to make decisions or act independently without seeking approval and can be found in various contexts like politics, law, and social situations.

Parts of Speech: 

The word "prerogative" can function as a noun in a sentence. It is not commonly used as any other part of speech, such as a verb or an adjective. 

How to pronounce Prerogative? 

The word "prerogative" is pronounced as pri-ROG-uh-tiv. The stress is on the second syllable, "ROG".

Synonyms of Prerogative: 

Some synonyms of the word "prerogative" include:

  • Privilege
  • Entitlement
  • Authority
  • Discretion
  • Right
  • Power
  • Claim
  • Benefit
  • Advantage
  • Prerequisite
  • Exemption
  • Immunity
  • Liberty
  • Freedom

Antonyms of Prerogative:

Some antonyms of the word "prerogative" include:

  • Obligation
  • Duty
  • Responsibility
  • Accountability
  • Requirement
  • Limitation
  • Restriction
  • Prohibition
  • Disability

These words are opposite in meaning to "prerogative". You can use them to express the absence of the exclusive right or privilege or the existence of an obligation or restriction that someone must abide by.

Examples of Prerogative in a Sentence: 

Here are ten examples of how to use "prerogative" in a sentence:

  1. It is the president's prerogative to appoint judges to the Supreme Court.
  2. The company's CEO has the prerogative to approve or reject any proposals submitted to him.
  3. It's not my prerogative to make decisions on behalf of the team without consulting them.
  4. The monarch's prerogative is to confer honours and titles on deserving individuals.
  5. The right to free speech is considered a fundamental prerogative in many democratic societies.
  6. It's not the teacher's prerogative to punish students without following due process.
  7. The wealthy elite often uses their prerogative to avoid paying taxes through various legal loopholes.
  8. The CEO's prerogative to fire an employee without cause caused outrage among the staff.
  9. The government has the prerogative to impose tariffs on imported goods to protect local industries.
  10. It's not the government's prerogative to dictate how people choose to worship or express their religious beliefs.

Frequency of Use: 

The frequency of use of the word "prerogative" can vary depending on the context and the medium of communication. According to Google's Ngram Viewer, which tracks the frequency of words in books over time, the usage of "prerogative" has been relatively consistent since the 1800s, with a slight increase in usage in the mid-1900s. 

However, it's worth noting that Ngram Viewer only tracks usage in books, not other mediums such as spoken language or online communication. Overall, "prerogative" is a moderately common word and is still in active use today.

Variants of Prerogative: 

Here are some examples of variants of prerogative:

  1. Prerogative writ: This is a legal term that refers to a type of writ (a court order) that a higher court issues to a lower court or a government official to compel them to perform a certain action or refrain from doing so.
  2. Prerogative power: This is a term used in political science and constitutional law to refer to the inherent power or authority that a government or a monarch has to take certain actions without seeking approval or consent from other branches of government or the public.
  3. Prerogative offence: This is a term used in sports, especially in soccer, to refer to an offence that is not necessarily against the rules but is considered unsporting or unfair.

These variants are less common than the noun form "prerogative".

Related Terms to Prerogative: 

Here are some related terms to "prerogative" that are not synonymous but have a similar relationship:

  • Sovereignty
  • Autonomy
  • Independence
  • Control
  • Jurisdiction
  • Dominion

Etymology: History and Origins of Prerogative

The word "prerogative" has its roots in ancient Rome, where voting rights were based on property ownership. The Latin term "praerogativa" meant "ask before" or "before voting," referring to the first century of each voting class. It evolved to mean any exclusive right or special status and was adopted into Middle English. In medieval England, the king's prerogative was derived from the divine right of kings and exercised without parliamentary consent. The concept evolved to refer to any special right or power inherent in a person or entity, such as a government or monarch.

Derivatives and Compounds of Prerogative: 

Here are some derivatives and compounds of the word "prerogative":

  1. Prerogatively
  2. Non-prerogative
  3. Prerogative writ
  4. Prerogative power
  5. Prerogative principle
  6. Prerogative jurisdiction

Common Misspellings of Prerogative: 

Here are some common misspellings of the word "prerogative":

  1. Perogative
  2. Prrorogative
  3. Preogative
  4. Prerogitive

10 Idioms Similar to Prerogative: 

Here are 10 idioms similar to "prerogative":

  1. Ace in the hole
  2. Ace up your sleeve
  3. Upper hand
  4. Call the shots
  5. Rule the roost
  6. Play by ear
  7. Have a say
  8. Take charge
  9. Wear the pants
  10. Be in command


In conclusion, "prerogative" refers to an exclusive right or special status inherent in a person or entity. Its origins can be traced back to ancient Rome, and the concept has evolved to encompass various political, legal, and personal contexts. The examples provided demonstrate the diverse ways you can use prerogative in everyday language.

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