fa·​vor·​ite | \ ˈfā-v(ə-)rət How to pronounce favorite (audio) , 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

Fusaichi Pegasus snapped that upset streak in 2000, and a handful of favorites including Smarty Jones (2004), Street Sense (2007) and Big Brown (2008) fulfilled expectations. Jim Chairusmi, WSJ, "Who Will Win the 2019 Kentucky Derby?," 4 May 2019 Getty Images Anyone looking to copy Meghan Markle's flawless glow, take note: One of the Duchess of Sussex's facial favorites is on sale right now. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Beloved Quench Hydrating Face Serum Is Currently On Sale for 20% Off," 27 Apr. 2019 American Idol contestant Alejandro Aranda is one of the judges' favorites this year. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "What 'American Idol' Didn't Tell You About Alejandro Aranda’s Past," 15 Apr. 2019 Last night, many of your Game of Thrones favorites past and present gathered at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pedro Pascal Was Out of Control at the Game of Thrones Premiere," 5 Apr. 2019 Or why not do super-sized editions of current favorites? Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Why more TV shows should do year-end Christmas specials," 23 Dec. 2018 One of our favorites surrounds their new pals, and this only suggests more so that Jennifer and Alex are filming for one of the former HGTV star’s upcoming series. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Are Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Filming for Chip and Joanna Gaines' New Network?," 29 Apr. 2019 In it, fans were introduced to the sinister usurper Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), along with fan-favorites Nala (Beyoncé), Timon (Billy Eichner), and Pumbaa (Seth Rogan). Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "The New 'Lion King' Trailer Introduces the Villainous Scar," 10 Apr. 2019 One of my favorites was with author Michael Pollan about his fascinating new book on the science of psychedelic drugs. Sean Illing, Vox, "Here are the 5 most interesting conversations I had in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Because the book has to match the inside of your favorite car, of course. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "Bentley's Coffee-Table Book Costs Over $250,000 and Is Covered in Diamonds," 17 May 2019 My favorite memory is when Cher joined the gospel choir from a local church in Harlem one year when the Met was held in December. Maria Ward, Vogue, "André Leon Talley Explains the Significance of the Met Gala," 5 May 2019 For each of the colors and iconic black women chosen, Sharon dug into her favorite memories of each woman so that the shades made sense. Asia Milia Ware, Teen Vogue, "This New Beauty Brand Named Its Lipsticks After Iconic Black Women," 26 Apr. 2019 What’s your favorite part of taking a motorcycle trip through such an extreme and treacherous environment? Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "This Man Is Riding a Motorcycle Across Siberia to the Coldest Inhabited Place on Earth. But Why?," 29 Jan. 2019 Some of her favorite, ultra-gentle cleansers are CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, $14, and Free & Clear Liquid Cleanser, $8. Sara Coughlin, SELF, "Is Double Cleansing Truly Worth Your Precious Time?," 1 May 2019 Brooklinen—the cult-favorite luxury bedding brand—has joined forces with The Inside on a first-of-its-kind collaboration through a limited run of printed sheet sets. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Inside and Brooklinen’s New Collaboration is a Design Dream Come True," 25 Apr. 2019 Below are three of my favorite Walter Gay paintings. Elizabeth Pash, House Beautiful, "Why You Need to Start Collecting Interior Drawings," 19 Apr. 2019 With time, some of my favorite pieces — sweaters, leggings, and knits, especially — start to pill, resulting in tens — if not, hundreds — of annoying lint balls and fuzzies. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "This $11 Fabric Defuzzer Brought All of My Clothes Back to Life," 18 Apr. 2019

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

20 May 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 How to pronounce favorite (audio) , 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

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


highly pertinent or appropriate

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