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 But regardless of how well Peterman has played and Gruden’s quarterback favoritism, there’s no question that there’s a better use of a roster spot than keeping a third QB. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: Three big questions for the Raiders ahead of cut day," 27 Aug. 2019 Now, the activists have filed yet another petition with the USPTO and accused the legal adviser of making inappropriate remarks and displaying favoritism toward Gilead. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Activists say a patent office lawyer’s tweets showed ‘bias’ in favor of Gilead in HIV drug case," 12 Dec. 2019 Investigators have probed alleged corruption — centered on possible favoritism by the previous project management firm toward one bidder on the project — but the inquiry has produced only crickets so far, at least publicly. Jon Murray, The Denver Post, "Denver’s scandal-plagued convention project is closer to inking contract — but big questions unresolved," 1 Dec. 2019 What otherwise may have been an unremarkable workplace dispute escalated into a contentious public showdown marked by accusations of favoritism, dishonesty and back-door deal-making. Emily Brindley, courant.com, "A ‘disturbing abuse of power’: Fired Simsbury town employee says officials tried to fake reasons for termination," 6 Dec. 2019 In short, political favoritism is an economic disease that summons a host of additional economic, political and social pathologies. Michael Farren And Matthew Mitchell, Twin Cities, "Farren, Mitchell: Two years later, highly-touted Foxconn subsidies look more dubious than ever," 3 Dec. 2019 But those who are behind the scenes have not been able to keep up, mostly due to favoritism and a history of prejudice in the photo industry. Brianna Holt, Quartz at Work, "After 33 years in modeling, Naomi Campbell is finally getting to work with black photographers," 27 Nov. 2019 Some members of Congress have expressed concerns about reports of potential favoritism toward Amazon. Washington Post, "Judge sides with Pentagon and Amazon in cloud bidding case," 12 July 2019 The collapse of trade negotiations in early May occurred mainly because Chinese negotiators, in essence, withdrew previous offers to amend many of the country’s laws to reduce favoritism toward its homegrown businesses. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "Li Keqiang, Chinese Premier, Reaches Out to Trump and Business," 2 July 2019

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

2 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Favoritism.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/favoritism. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on favoritism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for favoritism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with favoritism

Spanish Central: Translation of favoritism

Nglish: Translation of favoritism for Spanish Speakers

Comments on favoritism

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good-natured easy friendliness

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