fa·​vor | \ˈfā-vər \

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

a : appearance

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 \

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 \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for favor

Synonyms: Noun

benevolence, boon, courtesy, grace, indulgence, kindness, mercy, service, turn

Synonyms: Verb

accommodate, oblige

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of favor in a Sentence


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.


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

For most of his presidency Mr. Macron, a former investment banker and technocrat groomed at France’s elite academies, shunned public debate in favor of backroom negotiations to pass sweeping overhauls. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "France’s Macron, Astride the Globe, Overlooked Swelling Anger at Home," 7 Dec. 2018 The proprietary EdgeHTML engine underpinning the browser will be abandoned in favor of the Chromium code used by Google’s Chrome and several other browsers. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Microsoft Edge embraces open-source Chromium code, plans move to Windows 7, 8, and Macs," 6 Dec. 2018 Trump is much more in favor of large, federal spending, which is the Democratic approach. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Axios’ Jonathan Swan explains what the press gets wrong about the Trump administration," 6 Dec. 2018 Cities around the world, but especially in Europe, have begun to shun internal combustion engines in favor of boosting air quality for residents. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Aston Martin will make old cars electric so they don’t get banned from cities," 6 Dec. 2018 To improve battery life, Razer ditched per-key RGB lighting in favor of one zone for the whole keyboard. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "The Razer Blade Stealth gets an overhaul with a 4K display and better graphics," 4 Dec. 2018 The research that does exist on this is conflicting, although largely in favor of helmet use. Korin Miller, SELF, "My Son, Like Chrissy Teigen’s, Wore a Corrective Helmet as a Baby for a Flat Spot," 4 Dec. 2018 Already, many wave off Bali in favor of less discovered paradises, like Lombok and Flores, where the lodging is finally worthy of the pristine surroundings. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 2018 So Seattle was likely doing Marshall a favor with the timing of the move. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks release veteran receiver Brandon Marshall," 30 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kate usually favors skinny jeans or svelte black pants to pair with her crisp blazers and simple tops. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Wore Meghan Markle-Esque Wide-Leg Pants to an Air Force Base," 5 Dec. 2018 Of the four options, the Trump Administration favors the third option: consolidation of all armed services space operations under a single service. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "'Space Force' May Be Hobbled Before Liftoff," 29 Nov. 2018 The final group also favored blue, only slightly more pronounced. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres find they can't turn all blue eyes brown, but ...," 14 July 2018 The escalating problems with China demonstrate how one of Trump’s most favored tactics in business — trying to create leverage by cornering an opponent — has not been particularly effective in the White House. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Voters already fear economic pain from Trump's trade war," 9 July 2018 The later poetry, oscillating between the poles of the generic and the universal, favors the generic. Benjamin Kunkel, The New Republic, "The partisan world of Pablo Neruda," 2 July 2018 Mnuchin favors using the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which reviews foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies for national security risks. Saleha Mohsin, Bloomberg.com, "Trump Signals He Favors Less Confrontation With China on Tech," 27 June 2018 Ahrens also favors the state police reviewing shootings with CCL holders and requiring more training when needed. chicagotribune.com, "Almost nothing is known about dozens of concealed carry shootings in Illinois. Why?," 15 June 2018 Upholstery, whether for curtains, pillows, or furniture, tend to favor high-end fabrics like silk, velvet, and leather, and bold pattern comes in the form of damask, plaid, or paisley. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Traditional Design," 12 Oct. 2018

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


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


see favor entry 1

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Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for favor

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

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More Definitions for favor



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 \

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

2 : benefit

in favor of

: to the benefit of a judgment in favor of the defendant

in oneʼs favor

: to one's benefit a donation inter vivos made in his favor

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More from Merriam-Webster on favor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with favor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for favor

Spanish Central: Translation of favor

Nglish: Translation of favor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of favor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on favor

What made you want to look up favor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a pattern of small flowers

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