preference

noun
pref·​er·​ence | \ ˈpre-fərn(t)s, ˈpre-f(ə-)rən(t)s How to pronounce preference (audio) \

Definition of preference

1a : the act of preferring : the state of being preferred
b : the power or opportunity of choosing
2 : one that is preferred
3 : the act, fact, or principle of giving advantages to some over others
4 : priority in the right to demand and receive satisfaction of an obligation
5 offensive, see usage paragraph below : orientation sense 2b sexual preference

Synonyms for preference

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for preference

choice, option, alternative, preference, selection, election mean the act or opportunity of choosing or the thing chosen. choice suggests the opportunity or privilege of choosing freely. freedom of choice option implies a power to choose that is specifically granted or guaranteed. the option of paying now or later alternative implies a need to choose one and reject another possibility. equally attractive alternatives preference suggests a choice guided by one's judgment or predilections. a preference for cool weather selection implies a range of choice. a varied selection of furniture election implies an end or purpose which requires exercise of judgment. doing a tax return forces certain elections on you

Usage of Preference

The term preference as used to refer to sexual orientation is widely considered offensive in its implied suggestion that a person can choose who they are sexually or romantically attracted to.

Examples of preference in a Sentence

Car buyers have recently shown a growing preference for smaller vehicles. When it comes to music, everyone has their own preferences. Some people like small cars and some people like big cars. It's a matter of personal preference. She listed her favorite restaurants in order of preference. He has tried not to show preference in giving out jobs. The policy of the school is to give preference to minority candidates. “We could go to an Italian or Chinese restaurant tonight. What's your preference?” “Either one is fine. I don't have a preference.” See More
Recent Examples on the Web Coast Guards and Navies throughout the Pacific have long-struggled with strategies to manage China’s preference for fielding numerous but low-tech maritime vessels. Craig Hooper, Forbes, 7 May 2022 Investors have shown a clear preference for liquor stocks since the beginning of the pandemic. Carol Ryan, WSJ, 5 May 2022 Choi’s preference for foreign carriers is more than personal. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 In deeply urban areas, there is a strong preference for Democratic control of Congress by a margin of about 24 points. NBC News, 1 May 2022 Historians of dog breeding counter that breeders’ preference for specific physical traits over the years has often come at the cost of original behaviors. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 30 Apr. 2022 Historians of dog breeding counter that breeders’ preference for specific physical traits over the years has often come at the cost of original behaviors. Corinne Purtillstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Instead, most of them follow different financing paths, with a preference for bank loans and retained earnings. Conrad Onyango, Quartz, 18 Apr. 2022 After his death in 1910, his husky seafarers and oddly concrete ocean sprays were a bridge between old-fashioned storytelling pictures and the 20th-century preference for expressive form. Susan Tallman, The Atlantic, 6 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of preference

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for preference

Middle English preferraunce, from Middle French preferance, from Medieval Latin praeferentia, from Latin praeferent-, praeferens, present participle of praeferre

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Time Traveler for preference

Time Traveler

The first known use of preference was in 1673

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Dictionary Entries Near preference

preferably

preference

preference stock

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Statistics for preference

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Preference.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/preference. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for preference

preference

noun
pref·​er·​ence | \ ˈpre-fə-rəns How to pronounce preference (audio) , ˈpref-rəns \

Kids Definition of preference

1 : a choosing of or special liking for one person or thing rather than another or others Buyers are showing a preference for small cars.
2 : the power or chance to choose : choice I gave him his preference.
3 : a person or thing that is liked or wanted more than another My preference is to travel by train.

preference

noun
pref·​er·​ence | \ ˈpre-frəns, -fə-rəns How to pronounce preference (audio) \

Legal Definition of preference

1 : the right to prior payment of a debt with preference over the creditors of the heirs or legateesLouisiana Civil Code
2 : the transfer of an insolvent debtor's interest in property to a creditor for an earlier debt that gives the creditor more than the creditor would otherwise receive (as under a bankruptcy settlement)

called also voidable preference

— compare antecedent debt at debt, fraudulent conveyance, general assignment at assignment

Note: Preferences can be voided by a bankruptcy trustee because they diminish the bankruptcy estate out of which other creditors will be paid. Preferences must be made during a period (as 90 days before the date of filing a bankruptcy petition) established by bankruptcy law in order to be voidable. Perfection or grant of a security interest during this period is also a preference. The bankruptcy law states exceptions under which payments to creditors are not voidable preferences.

3 : priority

More from Merriam-Webster on preference

Nglish: Translation of preference for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preference for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about preference

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