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

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 The very concept of favoritism is mainly derived from odds and betting, and the bookmakers, those unsentimental seekers of profit, have Spain at the top of their markets. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "With champion Germany out, who's the World Cup 'favorite' now?," 27 June 2018 Despite the lawsuit’s startling allegations – which described a workplace filled with after-hours trysts, favoritism, offensive comments and racial discrimination – the central defendant in the case continued to prosper in state government. Marjie Lundstrom, sacbee, "Sexual harassment settlement didn’t stop these retired California state workers from coming back | The Sacramento Bee," 19 Apr. 2018 Beyond the injustice of it, small-business favoritism reverberates throughout the economy, slowing growth in two ways. Robert D. Atkinson, WSJ, "Stop Propping Up Small Business," 6 Apr. 2018 Lopez is campaigning on a promise to improve the department’s morale, saying employees fear retaliation and favoritism within the department. Nashelly Chavez, sacbee, "Yolo sheriff 'not campaigning' but now says he'd serve if re-elected. It's a dodge, rival says | The Sacramento Bee," 8 May 2018 The first blocks countries from setting different tariff rates for different countries to avoid favoritism. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "The Trump Administration Drafted a Bill That Basically Pulls the U.S. Out of the WTO. Here's What It Says," 2 July 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

25 Sep 2018

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The first known use of favoritism was in 1763

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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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a state of commotion or excitement

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