fa·​vor·​ite | \ ˈfā-v(ə-)rət , ˈfā-vərt, chiefly dialectal ˈfā-və-ˌrīt\

Definition of favorite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one that is treated or regarded with special favor or liking That song is my favorite. especially : a person who is specially loved, trusted, or provided with favors by someone of high rank or authority The king granted the land to two of his favorites.
2 : a competitor judged most likely to win Which horse is the favorite in this race?



Definition of favorite (Entry 2 of 2)

: constituting a favorite his favorite daughter especially : markedly popular the country's favorite sport

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Synonyms & Antonyms for favorite

Synonyms: Noun

darling, fave, minion, pet, preference, speed

Synonyms: Adjective

beloved, cherished, darling, dear, fair-haired, favored, fond, loved, pet, precious, special, sweet, white-headed

Antonyms: Adjective


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Examples of favorite in a Sentence


Of all his books, do you have a favorite? That movie is my favorite. That movie is a great favorite with audiences everywhere.


that teacher claims not to have any favorite students, although many in the class would disagree mint chocolate chip is my favorite flavor of ice cream
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The house came with a top-of-the-line Sub-Zero fridge, which the couple decided to keep in order to store all of their family's favorites, like Horizon Organic High Protein milk. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "6 Ways Eric and Jessie James Decker Turned Their House Into a Cozy Oasis," 2 Feb. 2019 Per The Telegraph, the Queen owns over 200 bags from Launer, of which three seem to be her avowed favorites: the black leather Royale, the black patent Traviata, and a third custom handbag. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Has Carried the Same Three Launer Bags for Years, Because Like Her They Improve with Age," 9 Jan. 2019 Sample recipes: Steak with Garlic Chive Butter, Apple and Goat Cheese Flatbread, and Korean Fried Chicken (a customer favorite). SELF, "The Best Meal-Kit Delivery Services to Try in 2019," 1 Jan. 2019 Williams was both the actual and sentimental favorite, and had a host of celebrities pulling for her. Sam Farmer, courant.com, "Humble Kerber Ends Serena's Comeback Trail In Wimbledon Final," 14 July 2018 Although many of the nominees were returning favorites, the Academy was far more willing to honor newer, diverse and quirky entrants into the TV landscape. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "What the 2018 Emmy nominations got right and wrong," 12 July 2018 Food52 is currently selling Staub's customer-favorite Perfect Pan at a major discount, so now's the time to stock up. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "The Best-Selling Staub Perfect Pan Is On Major Discount At Food52 Right Now," 22 Jan. 2019 Buy it: $8-$15 (originally $15-$30), ulta.com January 24 Mango seed butter is the power ingredient in this face cream that is an Ulta customer favorite—and likely one of my new favorite moisturizers to stay hydrated during the winter season. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "Ulta Is Having a 50 Percent Off Sale on Skin-Care—Here’s Everything I Want," 18 Jan. 2019 Victoria and Beatrice If Vicky was Albert's favorite, then Beatrice was Victoria's. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "What Was Queen Victoria Like as a Mother?," 13 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Two of my favorite shows as a kid were Sister, Sister (which starred Tia and Tamera) and Smart Guy (which starred Tahj), both of which aired on Disney Channel in the early 2000s. Teen Vogue, ""Seventeen Again" and "Sister Sister" Aren't Actually Disney Channel Originals," 10 Jan. 2019 One of my personal favorite foods for seasonal eating is the humble sweet potato. Joy Bauer, Ms, Woman's Day, "Nutrition Expert Joy Bauer's Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget," 23 Jan. 2019 The Fosters fans are excited to see their favorite show is back, this time with a fun twist as Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) start their adult lives and move out to Los Angeles together. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, ""Good Trouble"'s Cierra Ramirez and Tommy Martinez Get Real About Working With Noah Centineo, Bisexual Representation, and What’s Next for The “Fosters” Spin-Off," 10 Jan. 2019 Dave Fenley has quickly become a favorite on season 15 of The Voice, but his time on the NBC reality series is hardly his first brush with fame—or with coach Blake Shelton. Megan Stein, Country Living, "How 'The Voice' Star Dave Fenley Knew Blake Shelton Before Making It on the Show," 27 Nov. 2018 In the last three years, Elsa Hosk has clearly become a favorite with all the right people at Victoria's Secret. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Elsa Hosk Will Wear the 2018 Victoria's Secret Fantasy Bra," 6 Nov. 2018 With over 11 million copies sold and eight years as a number-one New York Times bestseller, this book has become a favorite among the book-club circuit. Anne Roderique-jones, SELF, "I Tested ‘Love Languages’ and 3 Other Relationship Books on My Marriage," 7 Oct. 2018 Blast your favorite tunes and drive off into the sunset. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Woman's Day, "30 Fun Things to Do By Yourself in Your Lifetime," 3 Jan. 2019 My very favorite vodka brand is the Canadian Georgian Bay Spirit Co. Mosha Lundström Halbert, Vogue, "The Cool Girl’s Guide to Toronto," 27 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'favorite.' 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 favorite


1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1692, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for favorite

Noun and Adjective

Italian favorito, past participle of favorire to favor, from favore favor, from Latin favor

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Statistics for favorite

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for favorite

The first known use of favorite was in 1583

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More Definitions for favorite



English Language Learners Definition of favorite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person or a thing that is liked more than others : a favorite person or thing
: a person, team, etc., that is considered most likely to win



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

: most liked


fa·​vor·​ite | \ ˈfā-və-rət , ˈfāv-rət\

Kids Definition of favorite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person or a thing that is liked more than others



Kids Definition of favorite (Entry 2 of 2)

: most liked Pizza is my favorite food.

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More from Merriam-Webster on favorite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for favorite

Spanish Central: Translation of favorite

Nglish: Translation of favorite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of favorite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on favorite

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