[pref-er-uh-buh l, pref-ruh- or, often, pri-fur-]
See more synonyms for preferable on

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. 2018

Related Words for preferably

rather, first, willingly, alternatively

Examples from the Web for preferably

Contemporary Examples of preferably

Historical Examples of preferably

British Dictionary definitions for preferably


  1. ideally; by preference; if one had a choice


  1. 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 preferably



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