May 07, 2012
prerogative (noun)
\prih-RAH-guh-tiv\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a special right or privilege given because of one's rank or position
How do you use it?
The teacher announced that any student with an A average for the marking period had earned the prerogative of skipping the final exam.
Are you a word wiz?

The word "prerogative" comes from a special privilege afforded to a certain group in ancient Rome. What do you think this special privilege was?

It's our privilege to tell you that the right answer is D. In ancient Rome, several public assemblies of the people were held to make laws, decide judicial matters, and elect officials. Each assembly was called a "comitia," and it became a matter of prestige to receive by lot the right to be the first group of 100 people allowed to vote in the "comitia." The name given to this special group, "praerogativa," became a synonym of "privilege" and produced the English word "prerogative." It can be traced back to "praerogativus," which meant "voting first," and to "praerogare," which meant "to ask for an opinion before another."
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