pre·​di·​lec·​tion | \ˌpre-də-ˈlek-shən, ˌprē-\

Definition of predilection 

: an established preference for something

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Choose the Right Synonym for predilection

predilection, prepossession, prejudice, bias mean an attitude of mind that predisposes one to favor something. predilection implies a strong liking deriving from one's temperament or experience. a predilection for travel prepossession suggests a fixed conception likely to preclude objective judgment of anything counter to it. a prepossession against technology prejudice usually implies an unfavorable prepossession and connotes a feeling rooted in suspicion, fear, or intolerance. a mindless prejudice against the unfamiliar bias implies an unreasoned and unfair distortion of judgment in favor of or against a person or thing. a strong bias toward the plaintiff

Predilection Has a Versatile Latin Root

Do you have a predilection for words whose histories conjure up colorful images of Wild West heroes, medieval knaves, Arabian princes, and intemperate gods, or are words with straightforward Latin roots more your style? If you favor the latter, you'll love "predilection." It's based on the Latin verb legere, which means "to gather" or "to read." That versatile root is also the source of many other familiar English words, including "collect," "lesson," "sacrilege," and "legume."

Examples of predilection in a Sentence

The predilection of certain upper-class Englishmen toward eccentricity and playacting lent itself well to this endeavor. — Robert D. Kaplan, The Arabists, 1993 Even seated in the witness chair, he did not remove the light-colored, belted raincoat that, in common with knee-high boots, is a predilection of the Nazi-minded and that, in his case, was nearly identical to the raincoat Hitler habitually wore. — Kay Boyle, “Preface from the Smoking…” , 1950, in Words that Must Somehow be Said: Selected Essays of Kay Boyle 1927–19841985 a young lad with a predilection for telling tall tales
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Recent Examples on the Web

Another aspect of James’ management that should unnerve investors is his apparent predilection for using Domo as his personal piggy bank, with family members given drawdown rights. Michael Hiltzik,, "Hype and plunder: This high-tech company may be setting a new low for self-indulgent IPOs," 4 June 2018 The civic predilection toward conservation was apparent at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, just 10 miles outside the city ($21.95 admission for adults, $8.95 for kids ages 3 to 12). New York Times, "Tucson Is a City That Encourages You to Explore," 28 Mar. 2018 But with possession comes a predilection for control, an obsession with the order of things. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "A Secret Paris Museum and an Aristocratic Family Decimated by the Holocaust," 9 Feb. 2017 The good news is that Congress is waking up to Mr. Trump’s troops-for-nukes predilections. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Troops for Nukes Trade?," 17 June 2018 While there’s not too much information yet on what exactly Saint Heron’s Ikea collaboration will include, one can’t help but imagine Solange’s predilection for minimal yet off-kilter fashion making its way into Saint Heron’s designs. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Ikea and Solange’s Saint Heron Announce an Interior Design Collaboration," 7 June 2018 Harlem’s passed on his predilection for big hair to his daughter, 9-year-old Jaxyn, and the both of them have achieved cult Instagram status that currently tops 450,000 followers. Samantha Lee, The Cut, "Radical Beauty: Benny Harlem and the World’s Tallest Hair," 14 Mar. 2018 Most conversations about Kanye West lead to the Kardashian clan’s predilection for devouring and spitting out famous black men. Michael Harriot, The Root, "The All-American Question: Can You Truly Love Black People If You Date Outside Their Race?," 9 May 2018 There are a lot of reasons why the wedding, by TV’s past predilections, should have been canceled. Rebecca Farley,, "The Fosters Moves Out: Saying Goodbye To TV's Most Temperate Family Drama," 7 June 2018

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

1742, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for predilection

French prédilection, from Medieval Latin praediligere to love more, prefer, from Latin prae- + diligere to love — more at diligent

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Statistics for predilection

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for predilection

The first known use of predilection was in 1742

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English Language Learners Definition of predilection

: a natural liking for something : a tendency to do or to be attracted to something

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Comments on predilection

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to enclose within walls

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