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

darling, fave, favorite, minion, pet, speed

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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

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

Falk and Hermle used data from the 2012 Gallup World Poll that explored the preferences of around 80,000 people from 76 different countries. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Why figuring out what’s behind a big gender paradox won’t be easy," 18 Oct. 2018 Good deeds and political preferences are hardly on Isner’s mind at the moment with a Wimbledon semifinal looming. Sandra Harwitt, USA TODAY, "While not always popular among fans, John Isner has aced his way to Wimbledon semis," 12 July 2018 Look at the voter registration: 34 percent Republican, 33 percent Democrat, 27 percent no political preference. Michael Smolens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Geographic divide makes for unique politics on San Diego-Orange County border," 20 June 2018 Click to Read Story It’s Time to A/B Test Your Financial Life People often don’t know their true preferences, from where to eat to when to retire. WSJ, "WSJ Tax Guide 2019: Interest Payments on Business Debt," 15 Feb. 2019 No matter your budget, design aesthetic, or material preferences, the top picks ahead offer something for every bedroom. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Quilt Sets for a Cozy Night's Sleep, According to Textile Experts," 20 Dec. 2018 Style-wise, Bambii has a preference for the latest from local designers with a gender-neutral approach. Mosha Lundström Halbert, Vogue, "The Cool Girl’s Guide to Toronto," 27 Dec. 2018 Previous studies have shown preference for traditional-looking physicians but those studies were photo-based — potentially drawing more attention to the body art — and not conducted in a clinical setting. Mary Bernard, Philly.com, "Will that tattoo hurt you professionally? Not if you're a doctor, study finds," 9 July 2018 To preserve the specialness of this place, visitors are limited to just 10 at a time, 200 people per viewing season, all of whom are chosen by lottery, with a preference toward Alaskans. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "Op-Ed: Alaska’s Pebble Mine Somehow Just Got Worse," 11 June 2018

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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Last Updated

26 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preference

The first known use of preference was in 1673

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More Definitions for preference

preference

noun

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.

3 : priority

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Comments on preference

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