predilection

noun
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

Epstein has long been known for his wealth and his predilection for young girls. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained," 22 Feb. 2019 Epstein has long been known for his wealth and his predilection for young girls. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained," 22 Feb. 2019 Epstein has long been known for his wealth and his predilection for young girls. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained," 22 Feb. 2019 And cookie eaters of all ages and predilections be advised: Dunking these in your beverage of choice will always be the right and entirely over-the-top way to go. Melissa Clark, New York Times, "Chewy Chocolate Cookies That Are Only Slightly Over the Top," 9 Feb. 2018 Her predilection for terrible ideas only flowed from this original sin. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Trek: Discovery' Season Two Wants You to Forget About Season One," 18 Jan. 2019 Meanwhile, the press has contributed by letting itself be terrorized into silence about the left’s predilection for violence. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "The Media Fesses Up," 21 Aug. 2018 Their vices, predilections, and obsession with food and luxury handbags were details etched in my DNA. Adele Lim, Glamour, "Crazy Rich Asians Is the Love Letter to My People I Never Had a Chance to Write," 17 Aug. 2018 In New York, where there's a workout to suit every individual predilection, the Pilates landscape has refracted into a rainbow of options. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "These 5 Pilates Studios Have Fierce—and Incredibly Fit—Followings for a Reason," 21 Sep. 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

8 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for predilection

The first known use of predilection was in 1742

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More Definitions for predilection

predilection

noun

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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