fa·​vor·​it·​ism | \ ˈfā-v(ə-)rə-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce favoritism (audio) , 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 Financial favoritism based solely on skin color seems an invitation to a civil-rights lawsuit. Scott C. Johnston, WSJ, "Revolution Consumes New York’s Elite Dalton School," 29 Dec. 2020 Texas A&M fans will be expected to gripe loudly, and unbeaten Cincinnati no doubt will complain of being victimized by Power Five favoritism. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Column: A college football bowl season like no other includes the usual suspects in the playoffs and the Rose Bowl in ... Texas?," 20 Dec. 2020 And there are other issues in the parks department’s housing program, including allegations from current and former employees about questionable spending to upgrade homes and claims that favoritism plays a role in who is awarded the benefit. Los Angeles Times, "Million-dollar views, cheap rent and allegations of favoritism at California state parks," 11 Dec. 2020 Federalist favoritism for British trade attracted some, while the Democratic-Republicans’ sympathy for France also held promise. Sara Georgini, Smithsonian Magazine, "How John Adams Managed a Peaceful Transition of Presidential Power," 7 Dec. 2020 Indeed, Henry’s favoritism to the boy over his own daughter only worsened. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "The Spanish Princess finale recap: Coups, Catherine's farewell, and other historical observations," 30 Nov. 2020 Dancing With the Stars Twitter seems concerned there's a bit of favoritism taking place in season 29. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Dancing With the Stars' Fans Say the Judges Are “Unfreaking Fair” and Favor Chrishell Stause," 1 Nov. 2020 Iraq’s Kurdish region is ruled by two main parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and both have been blamed for years of systematic corruption, neglect and political favoritism. Washington Post, "Protests flare in Iraq’s Kurdish north, adding new front in national crisis," 12 Dec. 2020 Phunware COO Randall Crowder denied political favoritism netted Phunware the loan in a recorded interview. Garance Burke, Star Tribune, "Financially troubled startup helped power Trump campaign," 17 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for favoritism

Time Traveler

The first known use of favoritism was in 1763

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Statistics for favoritism

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Favoritism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/favoritism. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for favoritism


How to pronounce favoritism (audio)

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 How to pronounce favoritism (audio) , ˈfāv-rə- \

Kids Definition of favoritism

: the unfair practice of treating some people better than others

More from Merriam-Webster on favoritism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for favoritism

Nglish: Translation of favoritism for Spanish Speakers

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