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

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

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

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 Their hubris is just as scary, their predilection for selfishness and lying is just as scary as the stuff in the cult of Lumon. Mikey O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Apr. 2022 Yet the cello sonata shows his concurrent predilection for conservative neoclassicism. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Apr. 2022 But after two years of pandemic uncertainty, my predilection for sugar has spiked. Ellen Bhang,, 11 Jan. 2022 The swimmers' precise but effortless movements were a good match for Walls' predilection for meticulous imagery. CNN, 25 May 2021 This predilection for buoyancy felt immediately recognizable to me. The New Yorker, 24 Nov. 2021 On the plus side, there's something reassuring about Neeson's ability to keep convincingly pulling off such characters, given Hollywood's predilection for ageism. Brian Lowry, CNN, 25 June 2021 During questioning Monday, a number of candidates voiced strong opinions about the attack, including a Capitol Hill resident who discussed the proximity to the assault and his predilection to support the prosecution. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, 1 Mar. 2022 At the same time as this revelation, my partner and I were battling — as is our perennial predilection — over whether to add sugar to cornbread. Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of predilection was in 1742

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Predilection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on predilection

Nglish: Translation of predilection for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of predilection for Arabic Speakers


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