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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web This perhaps explains why many professional cooks tend to have a predilection for the mineral compared to home cooks. Washington Post, 7 June 2021 His moves are sure to fuel concerns by liberal Democrats that the President is going too far to honor his own rare predilection in his party for seeking bipartisan ground with Republicans. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 4 June 2021 This predilection points to a compulsive hold on the life force that had propelled her from the start. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 29 Mar. 2021 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, 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, 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, 15 Apr. 2021 But there were signs in that first campaign of Mr. Johnson’s predilection for anti-intellectualism. New York Times, 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, 15 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About predilection

Time Traveler for predilection

Time Traveler

The first known use of predilection was in 1742

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About predilection

Dictionary Entries Near predilection








See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for predilection

Last Updated

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Predilection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!