pref·er·a·ble | \ˈpre-f(ə-)rə-bəl, ˈpre-fər-bəl also pri-ˈfər-ə-bəl\

Definition of preferable 

: having greater value or desirability : being preferred

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Other Words from preferable

preferability \ˌpre-f(ə-)rə-ˈbi-lə-tē \ noun
preferably \ˈpre-f(ə-)rə-blē \ adverb

Examples of preferable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Fans more recently acquainted with the book or with the 1994 movie might be perturbed by the slight changes, but going in cold is preferable. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: PBS's 'Little Women' is a warm bath of lightness and love," 11 May 2018 There are some times when a certain kind of touch is okay but a different kind of touch is preferable. Tara Bahrampour,, "I went to get hugged by a professional cuddler. Here's how it felt.," 5 May 2018 But the Heat have plenty of smart people making decisions, people who know that an ailing Kyrie Irving is preferable to a carnivorous LeBron James. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Is Josh Richardson creating second guessing for Heat?," 26 Mar. 2018 In other words, a four-pound pack that makes a 35-pound load feel tolerable is preferable to a three-pound pack that turns the same load into a torture device. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "The Best Women’s Backpacking Packs," 13 July 2018 But will just being not-Trump make Democrats preferable? Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "A Year of Achievement," 7 Feb. 2018 And while trite may be preferable to embarrassing anecdotes from the bride and groom’s childhood, that’s an awfully low bar. Karen Stabiner, New York Times, "A Wedding Day Saga Ends With Words From the Heart," 27 June 2018 The idea resurfaced in recent years with the advocacy of former Governor Michael Dukakis, who believes the rail link is preferable to a competing idea to expand South Station and boosting service to the south. Adam Vaccaro,, "North-South Rail Link would cost $12 billion, maybe much, much more," 18 June 2018 And even some critics conceded that any level of diplomacy was preferable to the apocalyptic threats Trump and Kim traded last year. Alexander Smith /, NBC News, "Trump and Kim nuclear summit agreement contains no new promises," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preferable.' 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 preferable

1666, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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The first known use of preferable was in 1666

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More Definitions for preferable



English Language Learners Definition of preferable

: better or more desirable


pref·er·a·ble | \ˈpre-fə-rə-bəl \

Kids Definition of preferable

: better or more desireable the preferable choice

Other Words from preferable

preferably \-blē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on preferable

Spanish Central: Translation of preferable

Nglish: Translation of preferable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preferable for Arabic Speakers

Comments on preferable

What made you want to look up preferable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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