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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for preference

Synonyms

darling, fave, favorite, minion, pet, speed

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.”
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

If partner’s jump-preference in your minor suit is invitational to game, pass. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: Aug. 23, 2019," 23 Aug. 2019 The road to Detroit Watching the second day of the 2016 MLB draft with friends and family, Schreiber’s preference was obvious. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "How John Schreiber made it from Rockwood to CoPa: “The kid does things the right way”," 11 Aug. 2019 Huawei’s preference is to continue using Android on its handsets, Yu said. Raymond Zhong, BostonGlobe.com, "Huawei unveils Harmony, its answer to Android, in survival bid," 9 Aug. 2019 Your son's job is to know what his father's preferences and expectations are; to know the consequences of meeting them (possibly being late) versus not meeting them (upsetting his dad); and to make his choice accordingly. Carolyn Hax, oregonlive.com, "Carolyn Hax: Hug-needing dad causes anxiety for his punctual son," 4 Aug. 2019 His proposal would also change the government contracting process by giving preference to companies that are unionized and offer good pay and benefits to their entire workforce. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, "Pete Buttigieg would let gig-economy workers unionize, set $15 minimum wage," 26 July 2019 Yet the preferences revealed by the hoax are instructive, albeit unsurprising to anyone who remembers other chapters in the long saga of fake hate crimes. Kyle Smith, National Review, "What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett," 12 June 2019 Everybody’s preferences are different, but MX Brown switches are generally considered the best option for someone who wants a keyboard for work and the occasional game. Valentina Palladino And Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: Ars picks 11 gifts you can get Dad for Father’s Day 2019," 11 June 2019 Still, China’s preference would be to avoid a trade war altogether. The Economist, "As its trade tussle with America heats up, China is on the back foot," 5 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preference

Statistics for preference

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preference

The first known use of preference was in 1673

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on preference

What made you want to look up preference? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!