What exactly does “exclusive” mean?

My definition: something available to only a select few people or for a limited time or in a limited place. In my view, the movie theater world would use the word “exclusive” when the film was only playing at one location in the city.  So I found it rather befuddling when I saw this tag line:

It’s playing exclusively at 15 theaters? How is that exclusive?

But then I looked around and I saw more use.  This is how I would use the term.  “Exclusive Engagement.”  Meaning y’all have to go to Cinema 21 if you live in Portland and want to see the movie this week.
Then there was this “limited engagement” crap. Seven movie theaters is not a limited engagement.

Here’s the dictionary.com definition:


  [ik-skloo-siv, -ziv]  Show IPA



not admitting of something else; incompatible: mutually exclusive plans of action.

omitting from consideration or account (often followed by of): a profit of ten percent, exclusive of taxes.

limited to the object or objects designated: exclusive attention to business.

shutting out all others from a part or share: an exclusive right to film the novel.

fashionable; stylish: to patronize only the most exclusive designers.

Based on this definition, I think that Cinema 21 has it right and the other people need better tag writers.

2 thoughts on “What exactly does “exclusive” mean?”

  1. PS-Thanks to Sally and my in-home weather banishment from school, I am all caught up on commenting. Oddly enough, my Marymount grading remains untouched. Yay for super-awesome avoidance techniques!

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