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 MacCaskeyMound flour on a work surface (preferably wooden) and make a large well in center with your fingertips.Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Just make sure to allow the suitcase to dry fully (preferably in the sun) before storing. Nancy Einhart, Travel + Leisure, 2 Mar. 2023 Put your egg-poaching skills to the test with a next-level V-Day brunch (preferably in bed). Women's Health, 10 Feb. 2023 The team is worth billions and can pay its own way, preferably in DC very close to a Metro station. Sam Fortier, Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2023 To be sure, get a fasting testosterone test at your doctors, preferably in the morning, when the hormone’s levels peak. Richard Laliberte, Men's Health, 7 Feb. 2023 To care for lavender indoors, give it bright, direct light for a few hours every day, preferably in a south-facing window, and water when the soil is slightly dry. Terri Robertson, Country Living, 1 Feb. 2023 Embrace ’90s beauty, including the reincarnation of lip liner, preferably in a brown hue; bring it to 2023 with a lip oil topper. Meg Hemphill, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Jan. 2023 As a fourth-liner, Blackwell’s primary objective is stopping the opposition and setting up the other lines with the puck, preferably in the offensive zone. Phil Thompson, Chicago Tribune, 9 Jan. 2023 Growing up, all of us dreamt of having a million dollars in the bank, or preferably in a large pile in a huge master bedroom. Dallas News, 30 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preferably.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 29 Mar. 2023.

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