Synonyms & Antonyms of preference

1 a person or thing that is preferred over others
  • my preference is soul music

Synonyms for preference

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2 positive regard for something
  • a preference for cool weather

Synonyms for preference

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Antonyms for preference

3 the power, right, or opportunity to choose
  • he was promised his preference when the time came to repaint his bedroom

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4 a raising or a state of being raised to a higher rank or position
  • a long-sought preference to the position of naval commander

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Antonyms for preference

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About preference

How does the noun preference contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of preference are alternative, choice, election, option, and selection. While all these words mean "the act or opportunity of choosing or the thing chosen," preference suggests a choice guided by one's judgment or predilections.

a preference for cool weather

When is it sensible to use alternative instead of preference?

The words alternative and preference can be used in similar contexts, but alternative implies a need to choose one and reject another possibility.

equally attractive alternatives

In what contexts can choice take the place of preference?

The meanings of choice and preference largely overlap; however, choice suggests the opportunity or privilege of choosing freely.

freedom of choice

When is election a more appropriate choice than preference?

While in some cases nearly identical to preference, election implies an end or purpose which requires exercise of judgment.

doing a tax return forces certain elections on you

When can option be used instead of preference?

Although the words option and preference have much in common, option implies a power to choose that is specifically granted or guaranteed.

the option of paying now or later

When would selection be a good substitute for preference?

The words selection and preference are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, selection implies a range of choice.

a varied selection of furniture

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Time Traveler for preference

Time Traveler

The first known use of preference was in 1673

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Cite this Entry

“Preference.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on preference

Nglish: Translation of preference for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preference for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about preference


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