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 Gruden’s favoritism for that side of the ball is long chronicled and consistently reinforced. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: Jon Gruden sent two clear messages by not suspending Antonio Brown [Updated]," 6 Sep. 2019 Promotions become an exercise in favoritism, and bosses pick on the powerless. Chris Woolston, Quartz at Work, "How to deal with an abusive boss," 29 Aug. 2019 Start by having an honest (and likely uncomfortable) conversation, avoid showing any hints of favoritism, and then find a new sounding board. Kathryn Vasel, CNN, "From your work BFF to your boss: How to navigate relationships in the office," 13 Sep. 2019 Some accused the town of showing favoritism to Hasidic residents at the expense of the secular population. Rebecca Liebson, New York Times, "Uproar Over Anti-Semitic Video Produced by Republicans in N.Y. County," 30 Aug. 2019 The episode turned scrutiny on Portland police during a long, hot summer of controversy, including accusations that officers have shown favoritism to both right-wing activists and anti-fascist counterprotesters during bloody brawls downtown. oregonlive, "Portland cop’s past membership in extremist Facebook groups raises questions about how to track offensive social media use," 29 Aug. 2019 Sanders showed no outward favoritism toward his left leg, lined up in a variety of positions and was a physical blocker. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Broncos’ Emmanuel Sanders explosive in return from Achilles injury," 19 Aug. 2019 At the opposite end of the spectrum is the coach that penalizes his own kid over concern about the appearance of favoritism to his kid at the expense of her teammates. Bird Brown, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Bird Brown: Life lessons can be learned through sports," 18 Aug. 2019 That’s not surprising — not at a time when the media is under near-constant microscopic examination for examples of bias and favoritism by both sides of the political aisle. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Former ASU journalism student was reprimanded for a tweet. Should she have been?," 29 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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Statistics for favoritism

Last Updated

23 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for favoritism

The first known use of favoritism was in 1763

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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

What made you want to look up favoritism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not being in agreement or harmony

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