View synonyms for favor


[ fey-ver ]


  1. something done or granted out of goodwill, rather than from justice or for remuneration; a kind act:

    to ask a favor.

  2. friendly or well-disposed regard; goodwill:

    to win the favor of the king.

    Antonyms: malice, animosity

  3. the state of being approved or held in regard:

    to be in favor at court; styles that are now in favor.

  4. excessive kindness or unfair partiality; preferential treatment:

    to treat some people with favor and others with neglect.

  5. a gift bestowed as a token of goodwill, kind regard, love, etc., as formerly upon a knight by his lady.

    Synonyms: present

  6. a ribbon, badge, etc., worn in evidence of goodwill or loyalty, as by an adherent of a political party.
  7. a small gift or decorative or festive item, as a noisemaker or paper hat, often distributed to guests at a party.
  8. Usually favors. sexual intimacy, especially as permitted by a woman.
  9. Archaic. a letter, especially a commercial one.

verb (used with object)

  1. to regard with favor:

    to favor an enterprise.

    Synonyms: sanction, countenance, approve

    Antonyms: disapprove

  2. to prefer; treat with partiality:

    The father favored his younger son.

  3. to show favor to; oblige:

    The king favored him with an audience.

    Synonyms: patronize, encourage

  4. to be favorable to; facilitate:

    The wind favored their journey.

  5. to deal with, treat, or use gently:

    to favor a lame leg.

  6. to aid or support:

    He favored his party's cause with ample funds.

    Synonyms: assist, help

  7. to bear a physical resemblance to; resemble:

    to favor one's father's side of the family.

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Other Words From

  • favor·er noun
  • over·favor verb (used with object)
  • pre·favor noun verb (used with object)
  • un·favor·ing adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of favor1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English favo(u)r, from Anglo-French, Old French, from Latin favōr- (stem of favor ) “goodwill,” derivative of favēre “to be favorably inclined” + -ōr- -or 1

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. find favor with, to gain the favor of; be liked by:

    The play found favor with the opening-night audience.

  2. in favor of,
    1. on the side of; in support of:

      to be in favor of reduced taxation.

    2. to the advantage of.
    3. (of a check, draft, etc.) payable to:

      Make out your checks in favor of the corporation.

  3. in one's favor, to one's credit or advantage:

    All the comments were in your favor.

  4. out of favor, no longer liked or approved; no longer popular or fashionable:

    He's out of favor with the president and may soon be fired.

More idioms and phrases containing favor

see curry favor ; in favor of ; in favor with ; in one's favor ; out of favor ; return the compliment (favor) .

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Synonym Study

Favor, goodwill imply a kindly regard or friendly disposition shown by an individual or group. Favor may be merely an attitude of mind: to look with favor on a proposal. Goodwill is more active and leads often to outward manifestations of friendly approval: By frequent applause the audience showed its goodwill toward the speaker.

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Example Sentences

There's definitely been a shift in favor of things like Medicare-for-all and a Green New Deal among Democrats in this state.

The stimulus package received 52 votes in favor, all from Republicans.

From Fortune

SoftBank’s sale of Arm unwinds another strategic investment in favor of boosting liquidity and enabling founder Masayoshi Son to focus on the more tactical investing he has said he wants to pursue.

From Fortune

The committee was not in favor of altering the voting process after votes had already been counted — even if it could result in a more diverse pool of winners.

From Eater

The stimulus package received 52 votes in favor, all from Republicans, and 47 opposed votes from Democratic Senators and Kentucky Republican Rand Paul.

From Fortune

Thirty-six percent were in favor and 38 percent were opposed.

Finally, he takes us behind the scenes into how Obama came out in favor of marriage equality that same year.

So, why would a species like the banded mongoose favor breeding between relatives?

Were the smugglers doing you a favor making it nearly impossible to bring any hope?

This has won the Cuban rum no fans in Washington, which has shown favor for Bacardi in the past.

At the reserve bank they may borrow as a standing right and not as a favor which may be cut off.

His boyish suspenders had been put away in favor of a belt, which was tight-drawn about his slim waist.

Factors which favor an early deposit are high acidity, diminished urinary pigments, and excessive excretion of uric acid.

Edna was a trifle embarrassed at being thus signaled out for the imperious little woman's favor.

The situation may be altogether in favor of the employer or altogether in favor of the men, or may occupy a middle ground.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.