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 : orientation sense 2b sexual preference

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Synonyms for preference

Synonyms

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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

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 Both major parties have opted out of Arizona's presidential preference elections to benefit their incumbent candidates. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "Republican Party prepares to scrap 2020 presidential preference election in Arizona," 6 Sep. 2019 The move towards belting out tunes on one’s lonesome does not seem to have affected musical preferences. The Economist, "Karaoke with colleagues is no longer compulsory in South Korea," 22 Aug. 2019 Owners can set boundaries and limits, such as how often rooms can be shared and if those checking in need to show IDs, and can make sure any short-term rental adheres to local regulations, as well as to the owner’s preferences. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Airbnb bets big on business travelers," 13 Aug. 2019 California leaders’ preference for the PUC as solvent for bureaucratic clogs was the subtext of the recent debate over wildfire legislation. Joe Mathews, The Mercury News, "Mathews: California PUC seems to regulate everything. What’s next?," 28 July 2019 Over time, the system will learn the preferences of individual workers, and automatically warm or cool their offices. The Economist, "Companies are taking advantage of their new ability to track their workers," 12 Sep. 2019 There’s a clean 50-50 split in younger consumers of hard seltzer, according to a study last month by Bank of America Merrill Lynch that analyzed the drinking preferences of millennials. Emily Heil, chicagotribune.com, "The key to White Claw’s popularity may be its nongendered ads," 11 Sep. 2019 There’s a clean 50-50 split in younger consumers of hard seltzer, according to a study last month by Bank of America Merrill Lynch that analyzed the drinking preferences of millennials. Emily Heil, Washington Post, "The key to White Claw’s surging popularity: Marketing to a post-gender world," 10 Sep. 2019 There's a clean 50-50 split in younger consumers of hard seltzer, according to a study last month by Bank of America Merrill Lynch that analyzed the drinking preferences of millennials. oregonlive, "White Claw reaches peak hysteria with rationing, destroys boozy gender divide," 10 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for preference

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for preference

The first known use of preference was in 1673

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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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