fa·​vor | \ ˈfā-vər How to pronounce favor (audio) \

Definition of favor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : friendly regard shown toward another especially by a superior a politician attempting to keep the favor of the voters
(2) : approving consideration or attention : approbation looked with favor on the enterprise
b : partiality The students naturally showed favor toward their own team.
c archaic : leniency
d archaic : permission
e : popularity The fad lost favor quickly.
2 archaic
b(1) : face
(2) : a facial feature
3a : gracious kindness also : an act of such kindness did you a favor
b archaic : aid, assistance
c favors plural : effort in one's behalf or interest : attention vying for the king's favor
4a : a token of love (such as a ribbon) usually worn conspicuously
b : a small gift or decorative item given out at a party
c : badge
5a : a special privilege or right granted or conceded granted a favor to a dear friend
b : sexual privileges usually used in plural
6 archaic : letter
7 : behalf, interest a man who acts only in his own favor
in favor of
1a : in accord or sympathy with
b : to the benefit of : in support of a verdict in favor of the accused
2 : to the order of
3 : in order to choose : out of preference for turned down the scholarship in favor of a pro career
in one's favor
1 : in one's good graces wanted to get back in the teacher's favor
2 : to one's advantage The judge ruled in our favor.
out of favor
: unpopular, disliked Her ideas are now out of favor.


favored; favoring\ ˈfā-​v(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce favoring (audio) \

Definition of favor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to regard or treat with favor
b(1) : to do a kindness for : oblige
(2) : endow
c : to treat gently or carefully favored her injured leg
2 : to show partiality toward : prefer
3a : to give support or confirmation to : sustain
b : to afford advantages for success to : facilitate good weather favored the outing
4 : to bear a resemblance to he favors his father

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Other Words from favor


favorer \ ˈfā-​vər-​ər How to pronounce favorer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for favor

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of favor in a Sentence

Noun I drove her to the airport because I owed her a favor. She's willing to help you but only as a favor to me. Don't do me any favors. I don't need your help. I've learned to be grateful for small favors. He's trying to earn the boss's favor by working late. The judge showed favor for the defendant. The students naturally showed favor toward their own school's team. Small boxes of candy were given out as favors at the wedding. Verb The teacher clearly favors you. Most voters favor these tax cuts. Her father favored the idea of her going to law school. They won the championship last year, and most forecasters favor them to win again this year.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ralph Stayer, retired CEO of Johnsonville, said his brat grilling method skips parboiling in favor of enjoying a cocktail while grilling the brats. Daniel Higgins, USA TODAY, "Should you parboil brats? Nope. And science can tell you why.," 25 May 2020 In 2018, two of the female contestants on Vietnam’s version of The Bachelor came out on air, rejecting the male bachelor in favor of each other. Theodore Ross, Harper's Magazine, "[Letter from Ho Chi Minh City]," 25 May 2020 On Friday a three-judge appeals panel voted 3-2 in favor of the state, saying plaintiffs had little chance of winning their appeal. Dennis Romero, NBC News, "U.S. appeals court upholds California's church closures," 25 May 2020 Over the past two seasons, the distribution is seven to two in favor of corners. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "What Denzel Burke’s commitment means for Ohio State football: Buckeye Recruiting," 24 May 2020 Of the residents attending, two spoke in favor of the project, five spoke against. John Carlisle, Freep.com, "Detroit neighborhood group sees gentrification as the enemy," 24 May 2020 Judges Jacqueline Nguyen and Barry Silverman ruled in favor of California. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "Federal appeals court upholds California's ban on in-person church services," 23 May 2020 Cycling, while already a national obsession in the Netherlands, is experiencing a renaissance around the globe as people shun public transport in favor of zipping around town on bikes, preferably with an electric support motor. Fortune, "The coronavirus cycling boom has turned this Dutch bike brand into a global hit," 23 May 2020 All that argues in favor of a more deliberative, measured approach, officials say. oregonlive, "On coronavirus reopening, Multnomah County cautious, but ‘almost there’," 23 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Big Four have learned the hard way to favor profits over invading one another’s turf and coexistence over price wars. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Will the airlines survive the coronavirus? Yes—and here’s how," 24 May 2020 In a city where officials have long been accused of favoring developers over the residents, of giving priority to New Detroit versus Old Detroit, giving tax relief now would've been politically unthinkable. John Carlisle, Freep.com, "Detroit neighborhood group sees gentrification as the enemy," 24 May 2020 Reade and three co-workers alleged that two managers, who were both black, potentially misspent funds and favored African American employees who were members of their church. Anchorage Daily News, "Biden accuser’s life marred by abuse and financial hardship," 22 May 2020 In an hour-long debate Tuesday night, the Waukesha Common Council as a whole favored repealing a city code that parroted previous state restrictions. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In a testy vote, Waukesha officials remove citywide coronavirus pandemic restrictions," 21 May 2020 That’s because to determine whether someone can be sent home, the bureau uses a tool to assess their risk of committing a crime after release, a tool that has been shown to favor white prisoners. NBC News, "Early release of Cohen and Manafort shows how unfair prison system is, experts say," 21 May 2020 Makeup brands will probably gravitate toward bolder eye looks, such as the one Basnight favors. Washington Post, "Masks are changing the way we look at each other, and ourselves," 19 May 2020 This approach has its own observational biases, however, favoring young systems where the planets still retain significant heat from their formation. Meredith A. Macgregor, Scientific American, "Astronomers Watch as Planets Are Born," 19 May 2020 In much of the country, the pendulum has swung toward favoring the economy. New York Times, "As States Reopen, Governors Balance Existing Risks With New Ones," 17 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'favor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of favor


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for favor

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin, from favēre to be favorable; perhaps akin to Old High German gouma attention, Old Church Slavonic gověti to revere

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Time Traveler for favor

Time Traveler

The first known use of favor was in the 14th century

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Statistics for favor

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Favor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/favor. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for favor


How to pronounce favor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of favor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a kind or helpful act that you do for someone
: approval, support, or popularity
: preference for one person, group, etc., over another



English Language Learners Definition of favor (Entry 2 of 2)

: to prefer (someone) especially in an unfair way : to show that you like or approve of (someone) more than others
: to approve of or support (something)
: to regard (someone or something) as most likely to succeed or win


fa·​vor | \ ˈfā-vər How to pronounce favor (audio) \

Kids Definition of favor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act of kindness Do me a favor.
2 : approval sense 1, liking They look with favor on protecting wildlife.
3 : a preference for one side over another The umpire showed favor toward the champs.
4 : a small gift or decorative item party favors
in favor of
1 : wanting or approving of All in favor of going say aye.
2 : in support of The judge ruled in favor of the defendant.


favored; favoring

Kids Definition of favor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to prefer especially unfairly My mom always favors my little brother.
2 : to approve of The president favors a bill to cut taxes.
3 : to present with The author favored us with a copy of her book.
4 : to make possible or easier Winds favored the ship's journey east.
5 : to look like He favors his mother.



Legal Definition of favor

1 : bias
in favor of
: to the benefit of a judgment in favor of the defendant
in one's favor
: to one's benefit a donation inter vivos made in his favor

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More from Merriam-Webster on favor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for favor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with favor

Spanish Central: Translation of favor

Nglish: Translation of favor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of favor for Arabic Speakers

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