[pref-er-uh-buh l, pref-ruh- or, often, pri-fur-]


more desirable.
worthy to be preferred.

Origin of preferable

From the French word préfsptérable, dating back to 1640–50. See prefer, -able
Related formspref·er·a·bil·i·ty, pref·er·a·ble·ness, nounpref·er·a·bly, adverbnon·pref·er·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·pref·er·a·ble, adjectivenon·pref·er·a·ble·ness, nounnon·pref·er·a·bly, adverbun·pref·er·a·ble, adjectiveun·pref·er·a·ble·ness, nounun·pref·er·a·bly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for preferable

superior, desirable, preferred, excellent, better, choice

Examples from the Web for preferable

Contemporary Examples of preferable

Historical Examples of preferable

  • The latter was equally plausible; but, if it came, would it not be preferable to the other?

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • This will be found to be very delicious and preferable to any other kind.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5

    Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

  • In either way, the certainty must be preferable to the suspense.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • For the unhappiness of Youth is preferable to the resignation of Age.

    The Slave Of The Lamp

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • Villaret reminded him that we were the guests of a German, and that it was preferable to be quiet.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

British Dictionary definitions for preferable



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