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favorite son

noun, U.S. Politics.
(at a national political convention) a candidate nominated for office by delegates from his or her own state.
Origin of favorite son
An Americanism dating back to 1780-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for favorite son
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As a punishment, he commanded Tell to shoot an apple placed on the head of his favorite son, Walter.

    The Overall Boys in Switzerland Eulalie Osgood Grover
  • In both cases the favorite son of the West had won at the polls.

    Tom Strong, Lincoln's Scout Alfred Bishop Mason
  • Lester was his son, his favorite son; it was too bad that he had not settled down in the ordinary way.

    Jennie Gerhardt Theodore Dreiser
  • Yet that is how she received him, being a mother defending her favorite son.

    A Terrible Temptation Charles Reade
  • His favorite son, James, had married to his mind; and money came so easy in those times!

    Pirate Gold Frederic Jesup Stimson
British Dictionary definitions for favorite son

favorite son

(in the US) a politician popular in his home state but little admired beyond it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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favorite son in Culture

favorite son definition

A political figure nominated for the presidency by his or her state's delegation to the national nominating convention of a major party. Favorite sons are rarely serious candidates for the party's nomination. By nominating a favorite son, the delegation honors its nominee while delaying its commitment until the more serious contenders for the nomination can be sorted out.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with favorite son

favorite son

A person valued by his or her hometown or organization for his or her achievements, usually political, as in Mary hoped they would treat her as a favorite son and nominate her for state senator. This term was originally employed for a candidate nominated for office by his own locality. Today this usage may ignore gender, as in the example. [ c. 1780 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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