prefer

[ pri-fur ]
/ prɪˈfɜr /

verb (used with object), pre·ferred, pre·fer·ring.

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

1350–1400; Middle English preferre < Latin praeferre to bear before, set before, prefer, equivalent to prae- pre- + ferre to bear1

Related forms

pre·fer·red·ly [pri-fur-id-lee, -furd-lee] /prɪˈfɜr ɪd li, -ˈfɜrd li/, adverbpre·fer·red·ness, nounpre·fer·rer, nounun·pre·ferred, adjective

Synonym study

1. See choose.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prefer

British Dictionary definitions for prefer

prefer

/ (prɪˈfɜː) /

verb -fers, -ferring or -ferred

(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

Derived Forms

preferrer, noun

Word Origin for prefer

C14: from Latin praeferre to carry in front, prefer, from prae in front + ferre to bear

usage

Normally, to is used after prefer and preferable, not than: I prefer Brahms to Tchaikovsky; a small income is preferable to no income at all . However, than or rather than should be used to link infinitives: I prefer to walk than/rather than to catch the train
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