from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Excluding or tending to exclude.
  • adjective Not allowing something else; incompatible.
  • adjective Not divided or shared with others.
  • adjective Not accompanied by others; single or sole.
  • adjective Complete; undivided.
  • adjective Not including the specified extremes or limits, but only the area between them.
  • adjective Excluding some or most, as from membership or participation.
  • adjective Catering to a wealthy clientele; expensive.
  • adjective Linguistics Relating to or being a first person plural pronoun that excludes the addressee, such as we in the sentence Pat and I are in town, so we can meet you for lunch.
  • noun A news item initially released to only one publication or broadcaster.
  • noun An exclusive right or privilege, as to market a product.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Causing or intended for exclusion; having the effect of excluding from admission or share; not inclusive or comprehensive: as, exclusive regulations; to make exclusive provision for one's self or one's friends.
  • Appertaining to the subject alone; not including, admitting, or pertaining to any other or others; undivided; sole: as, an exclusive right or privilege; exclusive jurisdiction.
  • Existing or considered to the exclusion of something else; not admitting or reckoning the part or parts (one or both extremes of some series) mentioned: usually followed by of, or used absolutely, as if adverbial: as, you owe me so much, exclusive of interest; from 10 to 21 exclusive.
  • Prone to exclude; tending to reject; specifically, disposed to exclude other persons from, or chary in admitting them to, society or fellowship; fastidious as to the social rank of associates: as, an exclusive clique.
  • noun That which excludes or rejects.
  • noun One belonging to a coterie of persons who exclude others from their society or fellowship; one who limits his acquaintance to a select few.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Having the power of preventing entrance; debarring from participation or enjoyment; possessed and enjoyed to the exclusion of others
  • adjective Not taking into the account; excluding from consideration; -- opposed to inclusive.
  • noun One of a coterie who exclude others; one who from real of affected fastidiousness limits his acquaintance to a select few.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective literally Excluding items or members that do not meet certain conditions.
  • adjective figuratively Referring to a membership organisation, service or product: of high quality and/or reknown, for superior members only. A snobbish usage, suggesting that members who do not meet requirements, which may be financial, of celebrity, religion, skin colour etc., are excluded.
  • adjective exclusionary
  • adjective whole, undivided, entire
  • noun Information (or an artefact) that is granted or obtained exclusively.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective not divided among or brought to bear on more than one object or objective
  • noun a news report that is reported first by one news organization
  • adjective not divided or shared with others
  • adjective excluding much or all; especially all but a particular group or minority


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin exclūsīvus, from excludere ("to shut out, exclude"), from ex- ("out") + variant form of verb claudere ("to close, shut").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word exclusive.


  • Whether it was an individual, a community, a district, or a nation, that in this way acquired an exclusive right of ownership of the land, was immaterial: it was necessarily an _exclusive_ right, otherwise no one would put any labour into the land.

    Freeland A Social Anticipation Theodor Hertzka 1884

  • The word exclusive suddenly rang alarm bells in my head.

    The Pursuit of Happiness Douglas Kennedy 2001

  • UNCLOS, some states (e.g. the United Kingdom) have chosen not to claim an EEZ, but rather to claim jurisdiction over the living resources off their coast; in such cases, the term exclusive fishing zone is often used; the breadth of this zone is normally the same as the EEZ or 200 nautical miles

    The 2004 CIA World Factbook United States. Central Intelligence Agency

  • This comes as the day after North Korean TV showed what it calls exclusive footage of the reclusive leader, Kim Jong-Il.

    CNN Transcript Apr 9, 2009 2009

  • On the basis of what it calls exclusive research, it warns that the insurgency is also exercising a "significant amount of psychological control, gaining more and more political legitimacy in the minds of the Afghan people who have a long history of shifting alliances and regime change".

    11/23/2007 2007

  • It turns out the Iranian TV, Al-Alam, is releasing now what they calling exclusive footage of "a confession."

    CNN Transcript Mar 30, 2007 2007

  • He said like other members of the coalition, the Bafokeng supreme council rejected the granting of what he described as the exclusive powers to the municipalities.

    ANC Daily News Briefing 2000

  • You know how silly I think the TV overuse of the word "exclusive" and that thus I have not uttered it on air for about 5 years - but now I have a new one: "take a listen." Greta Van Susteren 2011

  • And the word "exclusive" is key to the deal: if content currently available on Hulu is available for licensing to every Internet company with a video offering-Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and many more-the value of Hulu really comes down to its established streaming and player technology, plus its existing user and subscriber base.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion 2011

  • Clonbrony had offended half, nay, three quarters of her guests, by what they termed her exclusive attention to those very leaders of the ton, from whom she had suffered so much, and who had made it obvious to all that they thought they did her too much honour in appearing at her gala.

    Tales and Novels — Volume 06 Maria Edgeworth 1808


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.