Definition of prefer
1 : to promote or advance to a rank or position
2 : to like better or best prefers sports to reading prefers to watch TV
3 : to give (a creditor) priority
4 archaic : to put or set forward or before someone : recommend
5 : to bring or lay against someone won't prefer charges
6 : to bring forward or lay before one for consideration
Examples of prefer in a Sentence
Some people like vanilla ice cream, but I prefer chocolate.
She tends to prefer small college campuses.
I prefer this dictionary because of its helpful examples.
Which one is the preferred alternative?
What is the preferred pronunciation of her name?
Recent Examples of prefer from the Web
The Good Son’: Jared Kushner has always preferred to work behind the scenes, but his new role as a senior adviser to his father-in-law has put him in the spotlight—and under greater scrutiny than ever before.
Or did the party faithful prefer the candidate more strongly identified as a Republican?
A key inflation gauge preferred by the Federal Reserve edged up a slight 0.2 percent in April, leaving prices rising just 1.7 percent over the past year — the slowest 12-month gain this year and below the Fed’s 2 percent target.
But players have always preferred to police the game themselves, which Harper did by charging Strickland.
Mississippi was tops for searches on becoming a truck driver while California and Louisiana apparently prefer wilder careers, each leading the way on searches related to becoming a lion tamer or zoo keeper, respectively.
The university instead prefers the city issue a request for proposals to see what other developers have in mind and how SDSU’s needs for Aztec football and academic space could be incorporated.
This is a topic that does not routinely enjoy open dialogue as people tend to prefer obscurity around these issues.
Most experts would prefer the latter scenario because the growth in overall trade is indicative of robust economic activity.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prefer'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
PREFER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prefer for English Language Learners
: to like (someone or something) better than someone or something else
law : to make (a charge) against someone in a court of law
PREFER Defined for Kids
Definition of prefer for Students
: to like better than another or others She prefers chocolate ice cream.
Word Root of prefer
The Latin word ferre, meaning “to carry” or “to bring,” gives us the root fer. Words from the Latin ferre have something to do with carrying. To transfer is to carry across from one person, place, or condition to another. To confer is to bring something to someone in order to present it. To offer is to bring forth for another to accept or reject. To prefer is to carry a stronger liking for one over another.
Legal Definition of prefer
1 : to give (a creditor or debt) priority or preference any preferred charges such as child support or alimony — In re Smiley, 427 P.2d 179 (1967)
2 : to bring forward for determination; especially : to bring (a charge) against someone the various means by which a grand jury might prefer charges — State v. Byrd, 399 S.E.2d 267 (1990)
Seen and Heard
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