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 favor (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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from favor


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for favor

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fesi was the only voice to speak in favor of the bill, while doctors, advocates and transgender people all testified against the bill, which Fesi ultimately decided to shelve. Nicholas Reimann, Forbes, "Louisiana Anti-Trans Bill Dropped After Overwhelming Opposition," 28 Apr. 2021 On the preliminary vote, 11 jurors were in favor of conviction and one was unsure. Washington Post, "First Chauvin juror to speak publicly recounts stress of coming to court to ‘watch a Black man die’," 28 Apr. 2021 Boston’s acting mayor, Kim Janey, was among those to vote in favor of the restrictions in December. BostonGlobe.com, "Boston City Council again passes proposal restricting police use of tear gas, projectiles during protests," 28 Apr. 2021 To that end, AZ Factory eschewed precious silk party frocks in favor of easy-to-wear options. Katharine K. Zarrella, WSJ, "Alber Elbaz, Fashion Designer Who Revived Lanvin Brand, Dies at Age 59," 28 Apr. 2021 That resistance was evident when one Los Alamitos High School student tried to speak in favor of the ethnic studies curriculum during the April 13 meeting of the school board. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, "Orange County debates ethnic studies: Vital learnings or ‘anti-white’ divisiveness?," 28 Apr. 2021 Three Republicans — Sens. Lisa Murkowksi, Chuck Grassley, and Collins — voted in favor of McCabe’s nomination. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Democrats to clear decks for Biden by canceling Trump methane deregulation," 28 Apr. 2021 Mayor Meghan George is in favor of the wage increase, which could affect more than 30 employees. John Benson, cleveland, "Lakewood considers increasing living wage to $15 per hour for all employees," 28 Apr. 2021 Tanios' lawyer brought in two witnesses who testified Tuesday in favor of his release. Marshall Cohen, CNN, "US Capitol rioters charged in Sicknick case were armed with bear spray but only used pepper spray, prosecutors say," 27 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Moehrig spent most of his snaps in split-safety coverages, not the single-high defenses the Ravens tend to favor. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens draft preview: Trevon Moehrig headlines the safety class, but where does he fit?," 16 Apr. 2021 Research and diagnosis methods tend to favor cis men. Danielle Tcholakian, The New Republic, "Medical Risk Is Never Shared Equally. Our Health Care System Is Built to Guarantee That.," 16 Apr. 2021 That the show is named for its protagonist and her hometown, in defiance of genre norms that favor ominous phrases (The Killing, The Sinner, The Missing), underscores that people and place are as crucial here as any investigation. Judy Berman, Time, "Kate Winslet's Mare of Easttown Is the Rare Crime Drama That Cares About Its Characters," 16 Apr. 2021 People opposing the expansion also say the project's benefits are overstated and favor suburban commuters over Black people living near the freeway — many of whom don't own cars. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A disputed plan to expand I-94 to 8 lanes on Milwaukee's west side will undergo more review. That's a win for project opponents.," 15 Apr. 2021 Current zoning laws that favor single-family homes — known as exclusionary zoning — have disproportionately hurt low-income Americans. USA Today, "Biden's infrastructure plan calls for cities to limit single-family zoning and instead build affordable housing," 14 Apr. 2021 Back then, critics accused DeJoy, once a Republican Party fundraiser, of politicizing the service, and using it to slow the arrival of mail-in ballots that would likely favor Democrats. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimoreans bemoan continued mail delays as postmaster general touts new 10-year service plan," 13 Apr. 2021 Vernon gets the Joey Bosa comparison a lot, and the two actually favor each other in looks. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s 2022 recruiting class members converge at Under Armour All-American Camp: Buckeyes Recruiting," 12 Apr. 2021 The policy shift that is occurring is as an opportunity to test the precepts of Keynesian economics that embrace the government’s role in the economy versus supply side policies that favor tax cuts and deregulation. Nick Sargen, Forbes, "Are Equity Investors More Keynesian Or Supply Side Oriented?," 9 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about favor

Time Traveler for favor

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for favor

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Favor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/favor. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 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
2 : benefit
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on favor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!