- to set or hold before or above other persons or things in estimation; like better; choose rather than: to prefer beef to chicken.
- Law. to give priority, as to one creditor over another.
- to put forward or present (a statement, suit, charge, etc.) for consideration or sanction.
- to put forward or advance, as in rank or office; promote: to be preferred for advancement.
Origin of prefer
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for preferring
Kennedy disliked having girlfriends, preferring one-off conquests instead, but made an exception for Mary Meyer.The Bizarre Tale of Ben Bradlee, JFK, and the Master Spy
October 22, 2014
A handful of states do not recognize Columbus Day, preferring alternative commemorations.Keep the Holiday, Lose Columbus
October 13, 2014
A tutu clad Swift refuses to pirouette with her fellow ballerinas, preferring to pelvic thrust like a rebel instead.Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ Is Disappointing
August 19, 2014
Zylka was never had ambitions of acting growing up, preferring instead to play football and tag graffiti.From Homeless to HBO, ‘The Leftovers’ Star Chris Zylka’s Crazy Hollywood Story
June 27, 2014
Re-entry programs would be quite justified in preferring black counselors; I assume they do.Is John Garland Guilty of Teaching While White at Alabama State?
June 20, 2014
Yet is incensed against her for preferring her own relations to him.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
He did not attempt to defend himself, however, preferring to turn the quarrel into a joke.His Masterpiece
They grow in groups in damp places, preferring hemlock trees.The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise
M. E. Hard
The preferring of Apollo and his instruments to Marsyas and his instruments is not at all strange, I said.The Republic
La Signorina did not reply, preferring to hold her tongue, lest it overthrow her.The Lure of the Mask
- (when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to like better or value more highlyI prefer to stand
- law to give preference, esp to one creditor over others
- (esp of the police) to put (charges) before a court, judge, magistrate, etc, for consideration and judgment
- (tr; often passive) to advance in rank over another or others; promote
Word Origin and History for preferring
late 14c., "to put forward or advance in rank or fortune, to promote," from Old French preferer (14c.) and directly from Latin praeferre "place or set before, carry in front," from prae "before" (see pre-) + ferre "to carry, to place" (see infer). Meaning "to esteem (something) more than others" also is recorded from late 14c. Original sense in English is preserved in preferment.