fa·​vor | \ ˈfā-vər How to pronounce favor (audio) \

Definition of favor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : friendly regard shown toward another especially by a superior a politician attempting to keep the favor of the voters
(2) : approving consideration or attention : approbation looked with favor on the enterprise
b : partiality The students naturally showed favor toward their own team.
c archaic : leniency
d archaic : permission
e : popularity The fad lost favor quickly.
2 archaic
b(1) : face
(2) : a facial feature
3a : gracious kindness also : an act of such kindness did you a favor
b archaic : aid, assistance
c favors plural : effort in one's behalf or interest : attention vying for the king's favor
4a : a token of love (such as a ribbon) usually worn conspicuously
b : a small gift or decorative item given out at a party
c : badge
5a : a special privilege or right granted or conceded granted a favor to a dear friend
b : sexual privileges usually used in plural
6 archaic : letter
7 : behalf, interest a man who acts only in his own favor
in favor of
1a : in accord or sympathy with
b : to the benefit of : in support of a verdict in favor of the accused
2 : to the order of
3 : in order to choose : out of preference for turned down the scholarship in favor of a pro career
in one's favor
1 : in one's good graces wanted to get back in the teacher's favor
2 : to one's advantage The judge ruled in our favor.
out of favor
: unpopular, disliked Her ideas are now out of favor.


favored; favoring\ ˈfā-​v(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce favor (audio) \

Definition of favor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to regard or treat with favor
b(1) : to do a kindness for : oblige
(2) : endow
c : to treat gently or carefully favored her injured leg
2 : to show partiality toward : prefer
3a : to give support or confirmation to : sustain
b : to afford advantages for success to : facilitate good weather favored the outing
4 : to bear a resemblance to he favors his father

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Other Words from favor


favorer \ ˈfā-​vər-​ər How to pronounce favor (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for favor

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of favor in a Sentence

Noun I drove her to the airport because I owed her a favor. She's willing to help you but only as a favor to me. Don't do me any favors. I don't need your help. I've learned to be grateful for small favors. He's trying to earn the boss's favor by working late. The judge showed favor for the defendant. The students naturally showed favor toward their own school's team. Small boxes of candy were given out as favors at the wedding. Verb The teacher clearly favors you. Most voters favor these tax cuts. Her father favored the idea of her going to law school. They won the championship last year, and most forecasters favor them to win again this year.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So the answer to your second question is yes, there is a very significant risk that Illumina could and would rig the market favor of Grail. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "An antitrust expert weighs in on the FTC’s complaint against Illumina," 3 Apr. 2021 The odds are stacked overwhelmingly in the Warriors’ favor. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors wouldn't stand a chance at NBA's play-in tournament, unless something changes," 3 Apr. 2021 Someone might be happy to perform a favor or support your most important decisions. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for April 2, 2021: Aries, make your mark in the business world; Virgo, it’s a good day to ask a favor," 2 Apr. 2021 Though finding in the athletes’ favor, the trial court threw out claims against USA Taekwondo and the USOPC. Los Angeles Times, "California court says USA Taekwondo must protect athletes after L.A. sexual abuse case," 1 Apr. 2021 The jury voted in Pope’s favor but awarded her just one penny. David A. Taylor, Washington Post, "The Rosa Parks of D.C.," 31 Mar. 2021 As far as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is concerned, the risk-benefit analysis still comes down in AstraZeneca's favor. David Meyer, Fortune, "Keep using AstraZeneca’s vaccine, says EU drug regulator after Germany limits rollout," 31 Mar. 2021 The junior guard from Arkansas accounted for seven of UConn’s 19 unanswered points in the game-deciding run that swung the momentum back in the Huskies’ favor and gave them the lead for good in a 69-67 win. Alexa Philippou, courant.com, "What Geno Auriemma told Christyn Williams after she missed two free throws that could have cost UConn women a spot in the Final Four," 30 Mar. 2021 Hart lost to Miller-Meeks in 2020 in one of the closest House elections ever, decided in the Republican's favor by six votes out of more than 394,000 cast. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, "GOP opposition to Democratic voting legislation justifies overturning Iowa House election, lawyer says," 30 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Other barriers to divorce include a gender income gap, rules on property division that tend to favor men and traditional perceptions of gender roles. NBC News, "Frustration among women in China as new divorce law stalls process," 27 Mar. 2021 Congress hasn’t raised the federal minimum wage – now $7.25 an hour – since 2007, even though a recent Pew Research poll shows Americans overwhelmingly favor an increase. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "Democrats left scrambling on a $15 minimum wage now that it appears left out of COVID-19 stimulus bill," 2 Mar. 2021 More than 8 in 10 Americans favor laws that would protect LGBTQ people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing, according to a 2020 Public Religion Research Institute American Values Survey. Washington Post, "Equality Act introduced in House to provide sweeping LGBTQ protections," 18 Feb. 2021 Polls show that Americans increasingly favor more welcoming immigration policies. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Republican Plot to Rig the 2024 Election," 15 Jan. 2021 Most Americans favor additional investment in public works. Keith Laing, Fortune, "Biden infrastructure package in jeopardy as bi-partisan cooperation fails to launch," 23 Nov. 2020 The poll shows Biden has strong support among Puerto Ricans, but Cuban-Americans, a key voting bloc in the state, heavily favor Mr. Trump by more than 50 percentage points. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Ricky Martin says it's "super sad" to see Latinos support President Trump," 29 Oct. 2020 Stat of the day II: Time of possession was in the Dolphins favor, 33:09 to .. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde10: Tua time coming, five FGs a problem — 10 thoughts on Dolphins' loss to Seahawks," 4 Oct. 2020 More Americans now favor the ACA than have opposed it over the last few years, according to polls, and Democrats believe the coronavirus pandemic will only solidify that support. Mary Clare Jalonick, chicagotribune.com, "Amy Coney Barrett heads to Capitol Hill to meet with GOP senators ahead of Supreme Court confirmation hearings," 29 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'favor.' 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 favor


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for favor

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin, from favēre to be favorable; perhaps akin to Old High German gouma attention, Old Church Slavonic gověti to revere

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Time Traveler for favor

Time Traveler

The first known use of favor was in the 14th century

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Statistics for favor

Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Favor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/favor. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for favor



English Language Learners Definition of favor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a kind or helpful act that you do for someone
: approval, support, or popularity
: preference for one person, group, etc., over another



English Language Learners Definition of favor (Entry 2 of 2)

: to prefer (someone) especially in an unfair way : to show that you like or approve of (someone) more than others
: to approve of or support (something)
: to regard (someone or something) as most likely to succeed or win


fa·​vor | \ ˈfā-vər How to pronounce favor (audio) \

Kids Definition of favor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act of kindness Do me a favor.
2 : approval sense 1, liking They look with favor on protecting wildlife.
3 : a preference for one side over another The umpire showed favor toward the champs.
4 : a small gift or decorative item party favors
in favor of
1 : wanting or approving of All in favor of going say aye.
2 : in support of The judge ruled in favor of the defendant.


favored; favoring

Kids Definition of favor (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to prefer especially unfairly My mom always favors my little brother.
2 : to approve of The president favors a bill to cut taxes.
3 : to present with The author favored us with a copy of her book.
4 : to make possible or easier Winds favored the ship's journey east.
5 : to look like He favors his mother.



Legal Definition of favor

1 : bias
2 : benefit
in favor of
: to the benefit of a judgment in favor of the defendant
in one's favor
: to one's benefit a donation inter vivos made in his favor

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More from Merriam-Webster on favor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for favor

Nglish: Translation of favor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of favor for Arabic Speakers

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