pref·​er·​a·​bly ˈpre-f(ə-)rə-blē How to pronounce preferably (audio)
: by choice or preference
used to indicate what is wanted or preferred
The work should be done soon, preferably by the end of the week.
Applicants should hold a college degree, preferably with teaching experience.
Water thoroughly during the coolest time of day (preferably early morning), then allow soil to dry completely … before watering again.Michael MacCaskey
Mound flour on a work surface (preferably wooden) and make a large well in center with your fingertips.Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Examples of preferably in a Sentence

I like football, but preferably watching from the stands rather than being down on the field
Recent Examples on the Web Form into balls and set on a clean baking sheet or container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, but preferably up to 48 hours. Kate Bradshaw, The Mercury News, 28 May 2024 Time to reclaim them, preferably in a room lit by candlelight, or nothing but the naked screen. Stephanie Zacharek, TIME, 24 May 2024 There’s a long a tradition of using that figure, preferably inflated, as a marketing hook in your movie’s rollout. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 May 2024 Get into another room, preferably a windowless room, instead. 4. Howard Cohen, Miami Herald, 29 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for preferably 

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

Word History

First Known Use

1700, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of preferably was in 1700

Dictionary Entries Near preferably

Cite this Entry

“Preferably.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on preferably

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