preference

noun
pref·​er·​ence | \ ˈpre-fərn(t)s, 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

Beyond these three core principles, the GND is still capacious enough to include a wide variety of preferences and perspectives. David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 That’s partly because humans are still more creative than machines and partly because things are manufactured for human use and preferences. Pam Baker, Ars Technica, "Artificial Intelligence and the coming of the self-designing machine," 6 Dec. 2018 Six women with all different hair types, textures, and preferences shared a single iron. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "We Tested This Vibrating Hair Straightener on 6 Women's Hair," 29 Sep. 2018 The Facebook data-gathering feature, called an API, was a common technique at the time for assembling massive data troves for analysis, including names, hometowns, work histories, religious affiliations and personal preferences. BostonGlobe.com, "FBI, SEC also investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica," 3 July 2018 And my call to action to you, the reader, is to examine your own implicit bias and preferences. Caroline Gleich, Outside Online, "Misogyny and Sexism Will Not Defeat Caroline Gleich," 30 May 2018 Her trolling us about dating Eminem wouldn’t be her first time running confusing circles around the public with misinformation about her romantic partners or preferences. refinery29.com, "Nicki Minaj Says She’s Dating Eminem, & I Don’t Believe Her," 25 May 2018 Politicians become unresponsive to popular preferences and needs. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "America’s Version of Capitalism Is Incompatible With Democracy," 23 May 2018 So Giselle quit her job as an assistant property manager to homeschool Brooklyn, who struggled with ADHD, using an online curriculum that prioritized her daughter’s preference for visual learning. Shelley Levitt, Woman's Day, "These 4 Inspirational Women Went to Great Lengths for Their Kids," 4 Dec. 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

15 Jan 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, 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 \

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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