Pre*rog"a*tive (?), n. [F. pr'erogative, from L. praerogativa precedence in voting, preference, privilege, fr. praerogativus that is asked before others for his opinion, that votes before or first, fr. praerogare to ask before another; prae before + rogare to ask. See Rogation.]


An exclusive or peculiar privilege; prior and indefeasible right; fundamental and essential possession; -- used generally of an official and hereditary right which may be asserted without question, and for the exercise of which there is no responsibility or accountability as to the fact and the manner of its exercise.

The two faculties that are the prerogative of man -- the powers of abstraction and imagination. I. Taylor.

An unconstitutional exercise of his prerogative. Macaulay.


Precedence; preeminence; first rank.


Then give me leave to have prerogative. Shak.

⇒ The term came into general use in the conflicts between the Crown and Parliaments of Great Britain, especially in the time of the Stuarts.

Prerogative Court Eng.Law, a court which formerly had authority in the matter of wills and administrations, where the deceased left bona notabilia, or effects of the value of five pounds, in two or more different dioceses. Blackstone. -- Prerogative office, the office in which wills proved in the Prerogative Court were registered.

Syn. -- Privilege; right. See Privilege.


© Webster 1913.

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