Definition of premium in English:


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nounplural noun premiums

  • 1An amount to be paid for an insurance policy.

    ‘Correctly computed, the income of a wage earner entitled to a pension consists of his wages plus the amount of the premium he would have to pay to an insurance company for the acquisition of an equivalent claim.’
    • ‘Non-group insurance is expensive: premiums and deductibles are higher and overall plan benefits are less generous than for group plans.’
    • ‘In some parts of the country, insurance premiums have more than doubled.’
    • ‘The insurance funds in France and Germany are funded by taxes rather than insurance premiums and are tightly regulated by their governments.’
    • ‘Take the same amount of caution with your credit score as you would with your driving - being responsible with both can save you serious amounts of money in insurance premiums.’
    • ‘Most insurance companies will discount premiums for students with good grades.’
    • ‘I had to laugh earlier this month when a Foolish colleague asked me whether premiums for home contents insurance had rocketed over the last year.’
    • ‘The small fee was called an insurance premium and an entire industry was born.’
    • ‘You and your siblings are responsible for the casualty insurance premiums and the mortgage principal payments.’
    • ‘Based on the insurance premiums it expects to write, the group faces a capital shortfall of £700m.’
    • ‘The financial advantage women have in terms of lower car insurance premiums can be as much as 30%.’
    • ‘However, unless you've protected your discount, a single claim could send your insurance premium soaring.’
    • ‘It was reported this week that health insurance premiums jumped 14% this year, the strongest rise since 1990.’
    • ‘Parents often exclude their children from coverage under their automobile insurance in order to lower the insurance premiums.’
    • ‘Industries involved with tourism have been hit by lower bookings and insurance premiums have soared, increasing the cost of doing business for most sectors.’
    insurance charge, insurance payment, regular payment, instalment
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  • 2A sum added to an ordinary price or charge.

    ‘customers are reluctant to pay a premium for organic fruit’
    • ‘An indemnity bond is a premium charged by the lender and paid by the customer to insure the lender against a default in mortgage repayments by the borrower.’
    • ‘Employers in the restaurant, bar and tourist trade have been particularly vocal in querying the provisions on tips, weekend premiums and service charges.’
    • ‘Managers want to pay as small a premium to the market price as possible.’
    • ‘The more transparent the market, the harder it is to maintain price discipline (the ability to charge premium prices).’
    • ‘Furthermore, companies can charge premium prices for customers who request speedier delivery.’
    • ‘Permanent health protection contributions are premiums paid for income protection in the event of serious illness.’
    • ‘The controversy is a re-run of the dispute over CD prices in the 1980s, when retailers charged a premium for the new format despite the fact it was cheaper to produce.’
    • ‘Moreover, with five operators in place how will any one single company be able to charge the premium prices required to generate a proper return on investment?’
    • ‘Organic food consumers say the company's claim is phony; it simply didn't want to pay organic farmers the price premium the feed demands.’
    • ‘The savings on cooling equipment more than compensates for the price premium we pay for high-efficiency lighting.’
    • ‘I had specified matte a number of times because it was very important to me, and he was also charging me a premium price for the matte laminate.’
    • ‘But it is becoming increasingly hard to attract members willing to pay the premium prices at some of the leading courses.’
    • ‘The women's team won the first challenge by charging a premium price for their brew.’
    • ‘Some insurers provide premiums to pensioners or enhanced benefits by waiving excesses.’
    • ‘The good news for consumers is that the fall in the price of mortgage protection and life assurance premiums seems set to continue.’
    • ‘It does make sense to charge a premium for added services that cost more to provide, rather than force all customers to pay the same amount, whether or not they use the extra services.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that developers do charge a premium because there is tax relief available.’
    surcharge, additional payment, extra amount, extra charge, additional fee
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    1. 2.1A sum added to interest or wages; a bonus.
      ‘Much of the increase in the wage premium for education and skills is due to technological change that has increased demand for highly educated workers.’
      • ‘American workers who use computers command a wage premium of 15% over workers who do not.’
      • ‘In other words, the wage premium earned by the highly skilled is increasing.’
      • ‘‘The premium is like a bonus for us, but it is not money to stick in your pocket,’ said Mr. Ender.’
      • ‘They could have agreed to higher wages and higher employee premiums… but the workers wanted a lower paycheck in exchange for fully paid health care.’
      • ‘This may be a particularly surprising finding given the well-known growth in the skill premium, or relative wage, of college educated workers.’
      • ‘Wage premiums are to be axed and working hours lengthened.’
      • ‘A wage premium based solely on citizenship is grating.’
      • ‘But workers at the Richmond plant are insisting on a wage premium that would offset the San Francisco Bay Area's high cost of living.’
      • ‘Such a wage premium is consistent with the very low postal quit rate, as well as the massive backlog of job applicants.’
      • ‘Short-term use is associated with lower penalties or, in some cases, wage premiums.’
      • ‘The wage premium for women who have some graduate education and are not teachers is now 40 percent.’
      • ‘Counsel for the plaintiff proposes a premium or bonus of 25 per cent.’
      gift, donation, offering, contribution, handout, presentation, bestowal
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    2. 2.2as modifier Relating to or denoting a commodity or product of superior quality and therefore a higher price.
      ‘premium beers’
      • ‘In Aberdeen, the licensing board has proposed minimum drink prices in pubs of £1.75 for a pint of beer, cider, premium lager or cocktail.’
      • ‘As technology sectors develop, advanced products carrying premium prices become commodities.’
      • ‘She said: ‘These are top quality, premium products but we sell them at affordable prices.’’
      • ‘It will also help the society in continuing to deliver value to its members and suppliers in the form of premium milk prices and high quality services.’
      • ‘He was inspired by outlets on the West Coast of America, producing premium quality, ethically sourced coffee for an increasingly discerning market.’
      • ‘It's hard cover and premium print quality will set it apart from other publications on the newsstand.’
      • ‘The event will feature a full buffet to acquaint diners with the Japanese menu items as well as a selection of premium beers, wine and sake.’
      • ‘Hector's has a good selection of drinks, with premium lagers and a couple of real ales.’
      • ‘We are finding new buyers to be very well educated about the products, and who are looking for premium quality pistols that are reliable and safe to operate.’
      • ‘The co-op says the product line features premium nuts with superior color, texture and flavor.’
      • ‘This care in handling is in large part why Earthwise can expect a premium price for the commodities it processes.’
      • ‘While sales of whisky, stout and gin are in decline, drinks companies have seen volumes of premium lagers and hybrid drinks soar.’
      • ‘Both companies invested heavily into setting up state-of-the art breweries to produce premium beers.’
      • ‘The new plant will package one million hectalitres of premium lager a year, the equivalent of four million pints a week.’
      superior, premier, high-end, top-end, exclusive, elite, top, select, choice, deluxe, luxurious, classy, prime, first-rate, high-quality, top-quality, high-grade, five-star, fine, finest
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    3. 2.3Stock Market The amount by which the price of a share or other security exceeds its issue price, its nominal value, or the value of the assets it represents.
      ‘the fund has traded at a premium of 12%’
      • ‘The bankers who helped to launch the deal confidently predicted that the shares would trade a premium to net asset value.’
      • ‘It is difficult to imagine the shareholders turning the deal down, since it represents a 16 per cent premium to the share price last month.’
      • ‘A bid of €3 would represent a premium of over 50 per cent on where the company traded on Friday afternoon.’
      • ‘This represents a premium of N $22 million to its net asset value, Mutual and Federal said in a statement this week.’
      • ‘This represents a premium of nearly 40 per cent more than the closing price of company shares yesterday.’
      share, portion, percentage, premium, return, payback, gain, surplus, profit
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  • 3Something given as a reward, prize, or incentive.

    ‘the Society of Arts awarded him a premium’
    • ‘It took place originally in the Fair Field, Killarney on the afternoon after the morning show where the winners were selected and premiums awarded.’
    • ‘The prize still dangles again this week with the additional premium at E3,200.’
    • ‘He was awarded many premiums from officials of the T'ang Dynasty.’
    • ‘A premium has been awarded in cases where the Court felt that meritorious litigation should be prosecuted but was out of reach of clients of modest means.’
    • ‘Consequently, this is not a case in which a premium should be awarded.’
    • ‘The defendants further submit that the outstanding result on the motion warrants the award of a premium in costs.’
    bonus, extra, percentage, perk, recompense, remuneration, prize, reward
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/ˈprēmēəm/ /ˈprimiəm/


    at a premium
    • 1Scarce and in demand.

      ‘space was at a premium’
      • ‘Property is an excellent investment, particularly in Dublin, where space is at a premium but demand remains high.’
      • ‘It had a whopping 64MB of memory, so space was at a premium.’
      • ‘This was sensible as in mid-summer hut space is at a premium.’
      • ‘Yes, in our increasingly crowded city, space is at a premium and self-storage like this is a good idea, but why on earth does it have to be built in a residential area?’
      • ‘Even the most unpromising small plot can be transformed into a successful garden with hints which will show you just what can be achieved when space and time are at a premium.’
      • ‘Over six hundred students are now present and space is at a premium, nevertheless the planning was perfect and the school year got off to a flying start.’
      • ‘On job sites, space is at a premium, and the addition of more equipment can lead to congestion and unsafe conditions.’
      • ‘Even though the building is small and space is at a premium, it has little effect on the cheerfulness of the participants.’
      • ‘That half-foot makes a big difference when space is at a premium, he says.’
      • ‘Anyone unfamiliar with Hong Kong is probably at least aware of its reputation for being a city where space is at a premium.’
    • 2Above the usual or nominal price.

      ‘books with pristine dust jackets are less common and sell at a premium’
      • ‘The price they'll get has been set at a premium above what they could expect to receive from traditional marketing outlets.’
      • ‘In Edinburgh the market is still robust and city centre property prices for developers are at a premium.’
      • ‘With the development plans in limbo, prices should remain at a premium.’
      • ‘On the other hand, coal was at a premium and the price of copper was fixed at £100 a ton.’
      • ‘If the company is bought, any deal is likely to be done at a premium to the share price.’
      • ‘Under the new system, clubs are permitted to sell their allocated tickets to licensed operators at a premium.’
      • ‘Prices have doubled in the past year, often selling at a premium to other precious metals such as platinum.’
      • ‘Will grocery stores sell free range oatmeal at a premium?’
      • ‘In Normandy, the resorts of Trouville and Deauville are popular with Parisians, so properties sell at a premium.’
      • ‘Problem pages are sufficiently widely read that their facing advertising pages sell at a premium.’
    put a premium on
    • Regard or treat as particularly valuable or important.

      ‘he put a premium on peace and stability’
      • ‘High fuel costs make commodities more expensive and put a premium on locally produced goods.’
      • ‘Instruct your Web designer to put a premium on users' experience; look and feel are as important as functionality.’
      • ‘Americans in 1921 placed a premium on efficiency, and Hoover was widely regarded as its embodiment.’
      • ‘Economic globalization only raises the stakes - by putting a premium on the ability of corporate managers to control far-flung production and distribution chains.’
      • ‘This was due to a combination of factors including good timing and putting a premium on customer contact.’
      • ‘Encourage effort without putting a premium on winning or perfection.’
      • ‘Saturday's style of refereeing gives most of the penalties to the team with the ball, making defending doubly difficult, and putting a premium on ball retention.’
      • ‘Those resources have now almost run out, putting a premium on firms producing the raw material.’
      • ‘The U.S. Constitution puts a premium on individual liberty and freedom from governmental interference in the citizens' daily affairs.’
      • ‘Libertarianism puts a premium on individual liberties, and with liberties comes responsibility.’


Early 17th century (in the sense ‘reward, prize’): from Latin praemium ‘booty, reward’, from prae ‘before’ + emere ‘buy, take’.