preference

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

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

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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.”
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Recent Examples on the Web In California, voters will decide whether to allow affirmative action in public hiring, contracting and college admissions — 24 years after Californians approved an initiative outlawing programs that give preference based on race and gender. NBC News, "Racial justice is on the ballot in these 5 states this November," 14 Oct. 2020 In California, voters will decide whether to allow affirmative action in public hiring, contracting and college admissions — 24 years after Californians approved an initiative outlawing programs that give preference based on race and gender. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Racial justice is on the ballot for Utah and 4 other states," 14 Oct. 2020 In California, voters will decide whether to allow affirmative action in public hiring, contracting and college admissions — 24 years after Californians approved an initiative outlawing programs that give preference based on race and gender. David Crary, Star Tribune, "Racial justice movement a factor for 5 state ballot measures," 13 Oct. 2020 In this system, decision-makers give preference to peers and managers who look like them. Erika Seth Davies, Fortune, "How the finance industry can combat racism," 11 Oct. 2020 If that’s the case, lawmakers could include provisions in their plans that would give preference to underrepresented groups in the licensing process. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "$2 million and counting spent on push for legal sports betting in Maryland," 10 Oct. 2020 The committee also found that Google extended its long reach into Android anticompetitively by bundling in and giving preference to many other Google features, especially including Google Search. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "House: Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google have “monopoly power,” should be split," 7 Oct. 2020 How the tests are deployed is up to local officials, although the White House made clear its preference for testing teachers at schools that have reopened, health care workers, emergency responders and communities of color. oregonlive, "Oregon may soon triple its coronavirus testing capacity. Here’s how.," 3 Oct. 2020 The Michigan Democratic Party says James stands out among Senate candidates in competitive races for not making his preference clear. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, "John James stands out for not taking stance on vacant Supreme Court seat," 26 Sep. 2020

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.

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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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Statistics for preference

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preference.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/preference. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for preference

preference

noun
How to pronounce preference (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of preference

: a feeling of liking or wanting one person or thing more than another person or thing
: an advantage that is given to some people or things and not to others
: something that is liked or wanted more than another thing : something that is preferred

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.

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Comments on preference

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