Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


An exclusive privilege. The special power or peculiar right possessed by an official by virtue of his or her office. In English Law, a discretionary power that exceeds and is unaffected by any other power; the special preeminence that the monarch has over and above all others, as a consequence of his or her sovereignty.

The term prerogative is occasionally used by writers of law to refer to the object over which royal powers are exercised, such as fiscal prerogatives, which are the revenues of the king or queen.


noun advantage, authority, benefit, charter, claim, droit, due, exclusive privilege, exclusive right, franchise, freedom, grant, inalienable right, legal power, liberty, license, perquisite, power, preference, prior right, priority, privilege, right, rightful power, sanction, special right, title, vested right, warrant
Associated concepts: managerial prerogative, prerogative writ
See also: authority, birthright, capacity, droit, enjoyment, franchise, freedom, impunity, liberty, license, option, prescription, privilege, right, suffrage, title, use



PREROGATIVE, civil law. The privilege, preeminence, or advantage which one person has over another; thus a person vested with an office, is entitled to all the rights, privileges, prerogatives, &c. which belong to it.

PREROGATIVE, English law. The royal prerogative is an arbitrary power vested in the executive to do good and not evil. Rutherf. Inst. 279; Co. Litt. 90; Chit. on Prerog.; Bac. Ab. h.t.

References in classic literature ?
And what's the prerogative of a woman, in the name of Goodness?
This done, she created a little variety by scratching his face, and tearing his hair; and, having, by this time, inflicted as much punishment as she deemed necessary for the offence, she pushed him over a chair, which was luckily well situated for the purpose: and defied him to talk about his prerogative again, if he dared.
These women at least shall continue to respect the prerogative.
The lesson served its purpose--the young apes kept out of his way, as young apes should when their betters were about, and the old bulls made no attempt to encroach upon his prerogatives.
Zeus seeks to reconcile the pair, and Hermes by the gift of the lyre wins Apollo's friendship and purchases various prerogatives, a share in divination, the lordship of herds and animals, and the office of messenger from the gods to Hades.
NEW YORK (CyHAN)- While addressing the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev urged to prevent the arbitrary imposition of sanctions and make it the prerogative of the United Nations, the presidential press-service said.
Staging Authority in Caroline England: Prerogative, Law and Order in Drama, 1625-1642.
THE Royal Prerogative of Mercy is one of the historic privileges of the British monarch.
It revives what used to be called prerogative or absolute power, and it thus is something that the Constitution centrally prohibited.
He said: "He has chosen to play for Ireland which is his prerogative.
28 ( ANI ): Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja on Friday said that it is the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) prerogative to decide which candidates would be most suitable to take on Rahul Gandhi in Amethi and Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli during next month's general elections.
So what happened was within the prerogative of the governor," stressed the presidential spokesperson.