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 Koch Industries have worked to degrade unions, resist taxing carbon and shape tax laws in their favor. John Warner, chicagotribune.com, "Wake-up calls: From ‘Dopesick’ to ‘Kochland,’ these reads will open your eyes to a modern American reality," 16 Sep. 2019 Members of the Special Codes Committee of the Public Health and Health Planning Council, which is part of the New York State Department of Health, voted to recommend the flavor ban and the full council voted in favor of emergency adoption. Jen Christensen, CNN, "New York state bans most flavors of e-cigarettes," 17 Sep. 2019 The Judiciary Committee voted Thursday in favor of a new resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry and further intensifying its investigation into Mr. Trump. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Lewandowski sidesteps questions about Mueller report at House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing," 17 Sep. 2019 Back to basics: The brood of Democrats running for president came out in favor of the GM workers. cleveland.com, "UAW, GM resume talks amid nationwide auto worker strike: The Flyover," 17 Sep. 2019 According to McManus, Jackson opted against undergoing surgery, which would have sidelined him for about six weeks, in favor of returning to the field as soon as possible. Alaa Abdeldaiem, SI.com, "Report: Eagles' DeSean Jackson Out Two Weeks With Abdominal Strain," 17 Sep. 2019 That came in 2017, when then-coach Ben McAdoo benched Manning in favor of former New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith after a 2-9 start to the season. Chuck Schilken, Los Angeles Times, "Daniel Jones will replace Eli Manning as the New York Giants’ starting quarterback," 17 Sep. 2019 Moriguchi, elected as board president earlier in the year, led a 7-5 vote in favor of closure. Glenn Nelson, The Seattle Times, "Battle for ‘soul’ of Seattle’s Japanese American community as Keiro Northwest nursing home closes," 16 Sep. 2019 Last week, Campione was joined by Breeden and Sullivan in favor of the tax rate. Jerry Fallstrom, orlandosentinel.com, "Lake commissioners trim tax rate slightly but still go for higher levy," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Things get a lot more interesting on the spread with the Tigers favored by -27.5 (-115). Esten Mclaren, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Clemson Tigers at Syracuse Orange odds, picks and best bets," 12 Sep. 2019 Screenshot/Pinterest Dzafic said home-decor brands are keen on Pinterest promotion, while Hwang said financial services companies also tend to favor the site, tapping into that planning aspect—like when someone is thinking of a mortgage. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartzy, "Pinfluencers are here to stay," 10 Sep. 2019 Rear Admiral Bill Galinis, speaking at the American Society of Naval Engineers’ annual Fleet Maintenance and Modernization Symposium, told his audience that the U.S. Navy favors existing, tried and true ship designs over breakthrough ones. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Navy Is More Interested in the 'Ship of Theseus' Than the USS Zumwalt," 15 Aug. 2019 After police began to clear the area, protesters converged on the other rally on Hong Kong Island, where demonstrators were already putting on gas masks and handing out Pocari Sweat, a Japanese sports drink favored by the movement. Yanan Wang, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why Hong Kong protests ebb and flow, like water," 5 Aug. 2019 Just like their Instagram feeds, the Kendall + Kylie swimsuits are dipping in highlighter brights, snakeskin print, and design details favored in the 1990s. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Kendall and Kylie Jenner's New Ardene Swimsuit Collection is All Under $40," 1 Aug. 2019 The president had been criticizing Washington Democrats for by-and-large favoring sanctuary municipalities, as well as those lawmakers who have been critical of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Fox News, "WATCH: Trump riffs on 'snakes' in New York, Washington," 17 Sep. 2019 Laborers lay grass sod, construct stone walls, and assemble the fanciful faux-stone sculptures favored by many of these suburbanites. Wired, "The Suburbanites Making the Desert Bloom with McMansions," 12 Sep. 2019 Newport is heavily favored to beat Bracken County next week. James Weber, Cincinnati.com, "Week 2 takeaways: Turnarounds continue for Hamilton, Talawanda; Mr. Football showdown," 8 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for favor

Last Updated

30 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for favor

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

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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

Comments on favor

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an agreement to stop fighting a war

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