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

Definition of predilection

  1. :  an established preference for something

predilection was our Word of the Day on 08/14/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of predilection in a sentence

  1. It's true that black audiences have always had a predilection for talking back at performances. But more than that is going on in this theatre: the intensity of engagement is palpable. —Henry Louis Gates, Jr., New Yorker, 3 Feb. 1997

  2. The predilection of certain upper-class Englishmen toward eccentricity and playacting lent itself well to this endeavor. —Robert D. Kaplan, The Arabists, 1993

  3. 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 1927–1984, 1985

  4. a young lad with a predilection for telling tall tales

Did You Know?

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."

Origin and Etymology of predilection

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

First Known Use: 1742

Synonym Discussion of 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 Defined for English Language Learners


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

Definition of predilection for English Language Learners

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

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