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fa·​vor·​ite ˈfā-v(ə-)rət How to pronounce favorite (audio)
 chiefly dialectal  ˈfā-və-ˌrīt
: one that is treated or regarded with special favor or liking
That song is my favorite.
especially : a person who is specially loved, trusted, or provided with favors by someone of high rank or authority
The king granted the land to two of his favorites.
: a competitor judged most likely to win
Which horse is the favorite in this race?


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: constituting a favorite
his favorite daughter
especially : markedly popular
the country's favorite sport

Example Sentences

Noun Of all his books, do you have a favorite? That movie is my favorite. That movie is a great favorite with audiences everywhere. Adjective that teacher claims not to have any favorite students, although many in the class would disagree mint chocolate chip is my favorite flavor of ice cream
Recent Examples on the Web
The Bardo director says Buñuel’s 1974 dark comedy, a series of vignettes skewering social mores and ideals, is a particular favorite. Tyler Coates, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Nov. 2022 Check out our roundup of 2022 celebrity Halloween costumes, then vote for your favorite below. Glenn Rowley, Billboard, 1 Nov. 2022 Alums like Joe Mantegna, Kirsten Vangsness and Paget Brewster confirmed their return, but one big question mark loomed over a particular fan favorite: Dr. Spencer Reid. Jacqueline Saguin, Good Housekeeping, 6 Oct. 2022 That jacket was a particular favorite for Rittenhouse and the show's costume designer, Pamela Withers Chilton. Alex Apatoff, Peoplemag, 23 Sep. 2022 While the pearl and diamond earrings worn by Middleton were also from the Queen's collection, this necklace was a particular favorite. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 17 Sep. 2022 If your partner starts their morning with a cup of coffee and also happens to be a fan of chemistry, then this witty mug will be their new favorite. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 26 Oct. 2022 Round up a few different varieties and hold a festive tasting to discover a new favorite–or find one that's more palatable than the usual. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, 25 Sep. 2022 Garmin models with touch screens, such as my favorite, the new $1,000 Epix, partially fixes the issue, though many features are still buried under a labyrinth of menus. Nicole Nguyen, WSJ, 30 Oct. 2022
My favorite new thing at the end of my workday from home is to plop on my comfy chair and run the quick 10-minute light session. Nerisha Penrose, ELLE, 23 Nov. 2022 Baltimore is a 4 point road favorite and that seems about right. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 22 Nov. 2022 Frieze Projects — an outdoor section of the fair featuring curated, site-specific installations and large-scale sculptures, some of which are commissions — has long been a crowd favorite. Deborah Vankinstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2022 No wonder Rhone has been an editor favorite, and has nabbed a Men's Health Fitness Award for its practically perfect Reign Shirt. Christian Gollayan, Men's Health, 22 Nov. 2022 The United States is a +150 favorite on the three-way moneyline against Wales, who are +210 on the three-way moneyline. Nick Hennion, Chicago Tribune, 20 Nov. 2022 According to the Odds Share database, OSU was a 6.5-point favorite at Michigan last season. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 19 Nov. 2022 In its early days, Oprah, Ashton Kutcher and Shaquille O’Neal were among the A-listers who joined the site and attracted legions of fans seeking a direct line to their favorite stars. Sara Ashley O'brien, WSJ, 18 Nov. 2022 Though Jeffries appears to be the party favorite, there are others vying for leadership positions—and some who may yet still announce their intentions. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 17 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'favorite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Noun and Adjective

Italian favorito, past participle of favorire to favor, from favore favor, from Latin favor

First Known Use


1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1692, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of favorite was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near favorite

Cite this Entry

“Favorite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/favorite. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

favorite 1 of 2


fa·​vor·​ite ˈfāv-(ə-)rət How to pronounce favorite (audio)
: a person or a thing that is preferred more than others
: the contestant considered as having the best chance to win


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: being a favorite
our favorite show

More from Merriam-Webster on favorite

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