pre·​di·​lec·​tion | \ ˌpre-də-ˈlek-shən How to pronounce predilection (audio) , ˌprē- \

Definition of predilection

: an established preference for something a predilection for spicy food … a wonderfully spunky heroine with a smart mouth, a bad attitude and a predilection for trouble. [=a tendency to get into trouble]Publishers Weekly

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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 The marine sergeants are generally tall fellows with unyielding spines and stiff upper lips, and very exclusive in their tastes and predilections. — Herman Melville, White Jacket, 1850 a young lad with a predilection for telling tall tales
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Recent Examples on the Web Playlists written in pencil could be erased and rewritten as a predilection for the Pretenders gave way to the allure of the Allman Brothers Band. Mike Kerrigan, WSJ, "C-120 Cassettes Taught Me Econ 101," 26 Mar. 2021 The hundred and ninety-one thousand members of r/LiminalSpace have a predilection for parking garages, gas stations, dead malls, shuttered Kmarts, and paintings by Edward Hopper and David Hockney. Madelyne Xiao, The New Yorker, "The Pleasant Head Trip of Liminal Spaces," 16 Apr. 2021 Yet Philip's obituaries inevitably emphasized family marital dramas, past and present, and his predilection for politically incorrect humor. Philip Terzian, Washington Examiner, "Prince Philip, 1921-2021," 15 Apr. 2021 But there were signs in that first campaign of Mr. Johnson’s predilection for anti-intellectualism. New York Times, "Assaulting the Truth, Ron Johnson Helps Erode Confidence in Government," 21 Mar. 2021 But when the question is whether plaintiffs have presented the evidence needed to sustain allegations of electoral malfeasance, just about every judge saw things the same way, regardless of party, ideology or jurisprudential predilection. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Institutions Saved the 2020 Election," 15 Dec. 2020 In a city with a predilection for light and shade, optimism coexists with the sober reality of death. Francesco Lastrucci, Smithsonian Magazine, "Inside Naples’ World-Famous Pizza Culture," 20 Feb. 2021 As my colleague Osita Nwanevu wrote last week, corporations have always been completely comfortable contributing to candidates with a predilection for far-right politics that are openly white supremacist and anti-democracy. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "JPMorgan Chase and Amazon Discover Campaign Finance Reform by Way of Social Collapse," 12 Jan. 2021 There’s a bigger issue here, too, around the western predilection to portray those outside its sphere less as people than archetypes, usually of an archaic, mystic, backward kind. Murray Whyte,, "At Peabody Essex, a reset on South Asian art," 14 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for predilection

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The first known use of predilection was in 1742

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Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Predilection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for predilection



English Language Learners Definition of predilection

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

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