Privation

Definition: the state of being deprived; lacking the basic necessities of life

This is interesting, because it comes from the Latin “privare,” which means “to deprive, to strip, to remove.””

But we also use “de-prive.” That sounds like “taking away privation,” which would mean…giving something? My question seems to be about root “priv.” What does that mean? Is that the state of having?

I’m assuming “priv” here is the same root as “private.” Private property means property that belongs to someone, which makes “deprive” logical. Does the “-are” suffix mean to take something away? There is a Latin suffix for “-are,” but it doesn’t mean to be related or impart that meaning.

Why I Looked It Up

A book about Word War 1 used the word to discuss the general misery on the Western front.

…suffering and privation were everywhere

…thousands died of privation

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