fa·​vor·​it·​ism ˈfā-v(ə-)rə-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce favoritism (audio)
: the showing of special favor : partiality
: the state or fact of being a favorite

Example Sentences

He accused the teacher of showing favoritism in assigning grades.
Recent Examples on the Web Hints of political favoritism have led to swift criticism of OpenAI for months now. Will Daniel, Fortune, 1 Mar. 2023 The oversight board took up the issue more than a year ago in the wake of a Wall Street Journal article based on internal documents that showed that cross check was plagued by favoritism, mismanagement and understaffing. Jeff Horwitz, WSJ, 6 Dec. 2022 Sales leaders struggle to identify pervasive issues and spot outliers that may indicate mistreatment or favoritism that counter sales KPIs and talent retention goals, leading to an organizational culture of mistrust and disengagement. Forbes, 18 Apr. 2023 Some alumni saw the hire as a potential conflict of interest, comments on Whittier’s social media allege favoritism, and the faculty took their concerns to Santana, then chair of the Board of Trustees. Alexis Timko, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2023 However, the other two members wound up suing Beyoncé and Kelly, claiming that being managed by Beyoncé's dad Matthew led to favoritism within the group. Stephanie Sengwe, Peoplemag, 1 Mar. 2023 Telles lost his primary bid for reelection in June after articles in May aired claims of administrative bullying, favoritism and Telles' relationship with a subordinate staffer. Ken Ritter, USA TODAY, 21 Sep. 2022 Sull likes to remind leaders that toxicity can appear in many ways, whether that be favoritism, racial inequity, or outright abuse, especially in large organizations. Amber Burton, Fortune, 16 Mar. 2023 Thank you for noting the longer-term impact of favoritism. Amy Dickinson, BostonGlobe.com, 15 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'favoritism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1763, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of favoritism was in 1763

Dictionary Entries Near favoritism

Cite this Entry

“Favoritism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/favoritism. Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


fa·​vor·​it·​ism ˈfāv-(ə-)rət-ˌiz-əm How to pronounce favoritism (audio)
: unfairly favorable treatment of some while neglecting others

More from Merriam-Webster on favoritism

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