Definition of prefer
1 : to promote or advance to a rank or position
2 : to like better or best prefers sports to reading prefers to watch TV
3 : to give (a creditor) priority
4 archaic : to put or set forward or before someone : recommend
5 : to bring or lay against someone won't prefer charges
6 : to bring forward or lay before one for consideration
Examples of prefer in a Sentence
Some people like vanilla ice cream, but I prefer chocolate.
She tends to prefer small college campuses.
I prefer this dictionary because of its helpful examples.
Which one is the preferred alternative?
What is the preferred pronunciation of her name?
Recent Examples of prefer from the Web
Groups can reserve the tent at no cost, but city officials prefer that those groups be local nonprofit or volunteer groups.
Noblesville officials prefer a trail to the south and rails to the north.
The single mother of a 14-year-old daughter (who prefers not to reveal her age) continues to make her mark as a performer, teacher, composer and all-around champion of the harp.
Though city officials might have preferred to postpone any debate on soccer until 2018 when the election is over, Mecklenburg commissioners pushed them to act now.
There are other artists in the show, however, who prefer river views that only have the occasional bridge or person to remind you that civilization is nearby.
A recent poll by The Washington Post found that Americans prefer Obamacare—the law that the GOP has labeled as evil government overreach for the last seven years—over Trumpcare by a 2-to-1 margin.
More for lazy people who can't walk downtown naperville too crowded for me.....prefer wheaton, plainfield, glen ellyn.
Over the years, Iran has usually preferred to play the long game, lying low and working with local proxies rather than going for quick victories.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prefer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
PREFER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prefer for English Language Learners
: to like (someone or something) better than someone or something else
law : to make (a charge) against someone in a court of law
PREFER Defined for Kids
Definition of prefer for Students
: to like better than another or others She prefers chocolate ice cream.
Word Root of prefer
The Latin word ferre, meaning “to carry” or “to bring,” gives us the root fer. Words from the Latin ferre have something to do with carrying. To transfer is to carry across from one person, place, or condition to another. To confer is to bring something to someone in order to present it. To offer is to bring forth for another to accept or reject. To prefer is to carry a stronger liking for one over another.
Legal Definition of prefer
1 : to give (a creditor or debt) priority or preference any preferred charges such as child support or alimony — In re Smiley, 427 P.2d 179 (1967)
2 : to bring forward for determination; especially : to bring (a charge) against someone the various means by which a grand jury might prefer charges — State v. Byrd, 399 S.E.2d 267 (1990)
Seen and Heard
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