[ pref-er-uh-buh l, pref-ruh- or, often, pri-fur- ]
/ ˈprɛf ər ə bəl, ˈprɛf rə- or, often, prɪˈfɜr- /


more desirable.
worthy to be preferred.

Nearby words

  1. prefectorial,
  2. prefectural,
  3. prefecture,
  4. prefecture apostolic,
  5. prefer,
  6. preferably,
  7. preference,
  8. preference share,
  9. preference shares,
  10. preference stock

Origin of preferable

From the French word préfsptérable, dating back to 1640–50. See prefer, -able

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for preferable

British Dictionary definitions for preferable


/ (ˈprɛfərəbəl, ˈprɛfrəbəl) /


preferred or more desirable
Derived Formspreferability or preferableness, noun


Since preferable already means more desirable, one should not say something is more preferable or most preferable

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

Word Origin and History for preferable



1640s, from or on model of French préférable, from préfér (see prefer). OED notes preferrable is better English but has not prevailed. Related: Preferably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper