fa·​vor·​it·​ism | \ˈfā-v(ə-)rə-ˌti-zəm, ˈfā-vər-\

Definition of favoritism 

1 : the showing of special favor : partiality

2 : the state or fact of being a favorite

Examples of favoritism in a Sentence

He accused the teacher of showing favoritism in assigning grades.

Recent Examples on the Web

Yet another redistricting lawsuit has been filed in North Carolina, this one challenging General Assembly boundaries that Democrats and election reform advocates say remain illegally tainted by excessive favoritism toward Republicans. Gary D. Robertson, The Seattle Times, "Excessive partisanship claimed in North Carolina maps suit," 13 Nov. 2018 It should be noted that Shirrako’s channel is full of such videos, seemingly showing no favoritism for any sort of person in the game. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "YouTube reverses ban for streamer who killed Red Dead 2 feminist," 8 Nov. 2018 Zinke was previously criticized by conservation groups who said he’s shown favoritism toward Montana issues that are before his agency and the park service, which is raising entrance fees amid an $11.6 billion maintenance backlog. Washington Post, "Glacier park to rebuild historical chalet destroyed in fire," 17 May 2018 Carlozzi said he is disappointed that some Republican aldermen appear to want favoritism for one of New Britain’s many community programs. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "New Britain GOP, Democrats Square Off Over Aid Programs," 30 June 2018 With agency heads now allowed to hire minimally qualified lawyers as judges, the appearance and the risk of ALJ favoritism and politicization is too great, leaders of judicial organizations agree. Joe Davidson, Washington Post, "Trump order risks ‘politicization’ of administrative judiciary," 13 July 2018 By last week, Huddy’s accusations of political favoritism had so irritated Rhodes that the long-time auditor was personally responding to Huddy’s emails and demanding an apology from him. Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "Politics or bad break? How one man's tax bill became a headache for Auditor Dusty Rhodes," 18 June 2018 The Continental Congress then appointed two chaplains — a Presbyterian and an Anglican — with the goal of not showing favoritism. Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post, "Paul Ryan dismissed the House chaplain. Wait, why does Congress even have a chaplain?," 27 Apr. 2018 Many point to leaked emails in 2016 that appeared to show favoritism for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the presidential primaries. Jeff Barker, baltimoresun.com, "Progressive House candidate says recording shows Maryland Rep. Hoyer tried to pressure him to end campaign," 26 Apr. 2018

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

1763, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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The first known use of favoritism was in 1763

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More Definitions for favoritism



English Language Learners Definition of favoritism

: the unfair practice of treating some people better than others


fa·​vor·​it·​ism | \ˈfā-və-rə-ˌti-zəm, ˈfāv-rə-\

Kids Definition of favoritism

: the unfair practice of treating some people better than others

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More from Merriam-Webster on favoritism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with favoritism

Spanish Central: Translation of favoritism

Nglish: Translation of favoritism for Spanish Speakers

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