pre·​di·​lec·​tion ˌpre-də-ˈlek-shən How to pronounce predilection (audio)
: 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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Predilection Has a Versatile Latin Root

Predilection comes from French prédilection and Latin praediligere, meaning "to love more" or "to prefer." In Latin, diligere means "to love."

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web There are three strains of wild polio virus (type 1, 2, and 3), and each has its own predilection for causing paralysis. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 5 Feb. 2024 Kathryn Newton stars as Lisa, an odd outcast with a slasher movie-ready tragic backstory and a predilection for hanging out in the cemetery, leaving trinkets at the grave of a handsome young dead guy. Katie Walsh, Twin Cities, 10 Feb. 2024 Kathryn Newton stars as Lisa, an odd outcast with a slasher-movie-ready tragic backstory and a predilection for hanging out in the cemetery, leaving trinkets at the grave of a handsome young dead guy. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2024 Casa Cuba is a casual Cuban spot with cheap mojitos and a predilection for partying. Andrew Ferren, New York Times, 21 Dec. 2023 Moreover, Connor’s look showed the Londoner had read the brief (not always the case among those with a predilection for drama). Alice Newbold, Vogue, 5 Dec. 2023 But people with extremist beliefs continued to frequent Discord, trafficking in white supremacist memes and predilections of violence, or worse. Shane Harris, Washington Post, 12 Dec. 2023 Left to his own devices, Mr. Beshear, 45, has the predilections of a standard-issue American left-wing progressive. Faith Bottum, WSJ, 26 Oct. 2023 The musician spoke candidly about her early predilection for big, baggy clothes and her desire not necessarily to avoid being sexualized but to maintain some level of protection and control over her body. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 13 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'predilection.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1742, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of predilection was in 1742


Dictionary Entries Near predilection

Cite this Entry

“Predilection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


pre·​di·​lec·​tion ˌpred-ᵊl-ˈek-shən How to pronounce predilection (audio)
: a natural liking for something
a predilection for adventure stories

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