pre·​fer·​ment | \ pri-ˈfər-mənt How to pronounce preferment (audio) \

Definition of preferment

1a : advancement or promotion in dignity, office, or station
b : a position or office of honor or profit
2 : priority or seniority in right especially to receive payment or to purchase property on equal terms with others
3 : the act of bringing forward preferment of charges

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Examples of preferment in a Sentence

He has hopes for preferment. anticipated her preferment to a better-paying position within the company
Recent Examples on the Web Why should the government give yet another preferment to investment in upgrading the human capital of the affluent, over the capital investments of other entrepreneurs and workers? Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Letter: Week of November 16," 21 Nov. 2020 Think of a preferment like a head start towards fermentation. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, "A Preferment Is Your Ticket to Baking Better Bread," 11 Oct. 2020 MPs’ natural wish to support their prime minister, their own ambitions for preferment and the whips’ cruel ways all make for a reluctance to rock the boat. The Economist, "Theresa May heads off a rebellion," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preferment.' 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 preferment

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for preferment

Time Traveler

The first known use of preferment was in the 15th century

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Statistics for preferment

Last Updated

2 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preferment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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How to pronounce preferment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of preferment

formal : the act of moving someone to a higher or more important position or rank in an organization


pre·​fer·​ment | \ pri-ˈfər-mənt How to pronounce preferment (audio) \

Legal Definition of preferment

1 : advancement or promotion in office or station
2 : the act of preferring (as charges) without preferment of allegations

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