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

account, admiration, appreciation, esteem, estimation, regard, respect

Synonyms: Verb

accommodate, oblige

Antonyms: Noun


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

Instead, the Danville graduate and the South All-Stars played the percentages, but fortune didn't do them any favors during the 2018 Indiana Football Coaches Association North-South All-Star Classic. Rich Torress, Indianapolis Star, "North extends winning streak to four in IFCA All-Star game," 13 July 2018 Elites who sympathize with immigrants do themselves no favors by dismissing the working class as too bigoted or too stupid to recognize the economic benefits of immigration. Joan C. Williams, WSJ, "The Elites Feed Anti-Immigrant Bias," 9 July 2018 Her management of the euro area debt crisis did her no favors with her base, which grew increasingly frustrated with each successive bailout package. Alan Crawford, Bloomberg.com, "As Merkel’s Power Drains, the Threat to Europe Grows," 27 June 2018 Dutifully displaying those parts of a show that time has rendered obsolete doesn’t do anyone any favors. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "'Sweet Charity' from Reprise: The dancing never gets old, but the book could use a nip and tuck," 23 June 2018 Provided Hamilton County Democrats might not have done their rising star Aftab Pureval any favors with the commissioners' tax hike this week. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: See why Democrats' tax hike might hurt Aftab Pureval, help Steve Chabot," 21 June 2018 Jeff Faughender, Louisville Courier Journal The 2018 football schedule does no favors for a Western Kentucky team coming off a 6-7 season and breaking in a new quarterback. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "Ranking the 5 biggest games on Western Kentucky's 2018 football schedule," 20 June 2018 Dust and other damage around the home don’t do her condition any favors. Michael Katz, idahostatesman, "He has 2 Purple Hearts but couldn't afford home repairs. Then help arrived - for free.," 10 June 2018 And in a half-hour talk punctuated frequently by shouts of interrupting protesters, Pence returned the favor. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, "Rauner embraces Trump White House in Rosemont, calls Pence among the 'greatest leaders in American history'," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That’s largely because of the emphasis on awe-inspiring scenery at the expense of biodiversity-rich lowlands, and wildlife management that favors prey species at the expense of ecosystems. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Does Outdoor Recreation Correlate With Environmental Values?," 18 May 2018 Or maybe people who favor this combination over straight up alcohol or caffeine tend to be more risk-prone people in the first place. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Actually Happens When You Combine Alcohol and Caffeine?," 29 June 2018 Leslie generally tends to favor vintage styles, sometimes with a slightly modern twist like a sheer fabric or bold color update, so her choice of wedding dress wasn’t out of character. refinery29.com, "Rose Leslie Chose A Wedding Gown Worthy Of A Castle," 23 June 2018 The Roberts Supreme Court has consistently favored businesses over people, and this latest decision is just another step in a trend towards dismantling labor rights. Stephanie Russell-kraft, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court’s War Against Workers," 21 May 2018 Opposing the merger forced the federal antitrust regulators to argue against standing legal doctrine that favors mergers among companies that don’t compete directly with each other. Marcy Gordon, BostonGlobe.com, "Department of Justice appeals ruling that allowed AT&T-Time Warner merger," 12 July 2018 India Oven concentrates on Northern Indian food, a style that favors aromatics over feeling the burn. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: India Oven brings the heat on West Avenue," 12 July 2018 Opposing the merger forced the federal antitrust regulators to argue against standing legal doctrine that favors mergers among companies that don't compete directly with each other. Marcy Gordon, chicagotribune.com, "Justice Department appealing judge's OK of AT&T-Time Warner merger," 12 July 2018 The factors that favor kale, which is like the ratio of shares after reading to shares before reading, time spent reading an article, those things matter less, and the impulse stuff matters more. Nicholas Thompson, WIRED, "How Facebook Checks Facts and Polices Hate Speech," 6 July 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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Statistics for favor

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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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).


not any or not one

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