[ pri-fur ]
/ prɪˈfɜr /
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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.
verb (used without object)
to wish or feel inclined: For this stir-fry you can skip the cashews if you prefer.
OTHER WORDS FOR prefer
OPPOSITES FOR prefer
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Origin of prefer
synonym study for prefer
1. See choose.
OTHER WORDS FROM preferpre·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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use prefer in a sentence
He left one son and seven daughters, all unpreferred; but left a good and competent estate for them.Historic Sites of Lancashire and Cheshire|James Croston
What a fine provision may here be made for numbers of ingenious gentlemen now unpreferred?Augusta Triumphans|Daniel Defoe
British Dictionary definitions for 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 of preferpreferrer, noun
Word Origin for prefer
C14: from Latin praeferre to carry in front, prefer, from prae in front + ferre to bear
usage for prefer
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