Definition of preference in English:

preference

noun

  • 1A greater liking for one alternative over another or others:

    ‘her preference for white wine’
    ‘he chose a clock in preference to a watch’
    • ‘Europeans such as Mr. Bruni have long had a preference for fixed-income investments over stock.’
    • ‘Very often people express a preference for planting broadleaves.’
    • ‘Some people have a preference for the city, but quite a lot do not, and they deserve a choice.’
    • ‘The researchers also believe there is a genetic correlation between a preference for alcohol and a taste for sweets.’
    • ‘In addition, the Asian style of diplomacy typically shows a preference for dialog over binding decision-making.’
    • ‘Creative Commons licenses help people express a preference for sharing their work - on their own terms.’
    • ‘What happens if they put down a non-grammar school as their first preference, but also enter their child for the admissions test at our school?’
    • ‘Well, although I'll hazard the guess that Paris will win, I think I'll express a preference for London!’
    • ‘His preference is for fly fishing, but he is equally comfortable with casting or spinning tackle on board.’
    • ‘In doing so he demonstrates a clear preference of respectability above passion.’
    • ‘As late as the 1960s, children at school had their knuckles rapped, or even their hand tied behind their back, if they showed a preference for the left.’
    • ‘Both of them expressed a preference for an alternative chair person.’
    • ‘Club players have a preference for Bank Holiday weekends to be kept free of fixtures thus enabling them to take a weekend off with family or friends.’
    • ‘But a new study has found foetuses showing a preference for one side over the other usually retain it when after they are born.’
    rather than, instead of, in place of, sooner than, above, before, over
    liking, partiality, predilection, proclivity, fondness, taste, inclination, leaning, bias, bent, penchant, predisposition, desire, wish
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    1. 1.1 A thing preferred:
      ‘nearly 40 per cent named acid house as their musical preference’
      • ‘These students want to identify themselves through their musical preferences.’
      • ‘Waterbed preference during the coldest temperatures may be enhanced by the ability of water to hold and save heat.’
      • ‘Still, he's reluctant to draw any hard and fast lines between musical preference and student performance.’
      • ‘Office seekers in Malton often declared a preference for ground floor accommodation with spaces for 50 cars outside the window.’
      • ‘Mass entertainment is a commodity as any other and consumer preferences and affordability should play a part here too.’
      • ‘His only hobbies and recreations were those of her preference.’
      • ‘He and his colleagues had already shown that newborn chicks had a preference for objects shaped like seeds.’
      • ‘He strove to reach a balance between the musical preferences of fans and the band's own artistic pursuits.’
      • ‘There are no equivalent varieties in the UK or Europe where consumers have a preference for potatoes with low dry matter.’
      • ‘My personal preference is for the blue one and, even as a fan of boring beige boxes, I'll admit I think it looks great.’
      • ‘I cannot see that this represents anything but a preference for barbarism.’
      • ‘The legs of his pants end above the tops of his shoes, a fashion preference dictated by the hours he spends ankle-deep in wet grass.’
      favourite, first choice, top of the list, choice, selection, pick
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    2. 1.2[mass noun] Favour shown to one person or thing over another or others:
      ‘preference is given to those who make a donation’
      • ‘But this was his first statement of political preference.’
      • ‘It must be remembered that most infants show no lateral preference in the first few years of life.’
      • ‘In addition, we will give preference to articles and essays submitted under 32,000 words in length.’
      • ‘He enrolled in a journalism course, but when there were assignments to be done he felt he had to give preference to his poetry writing, and left the course.’
      • ‘Why did girls show such a strong brand preference?’
      • ‘Rather, it was the behavioral aspect of prey preference that influenced stability.’
      • ‘The most popular of the ideas put forward by residents were a coffee shop and bakery, the coffee shop registering almost 100 letters of preference.’
      • ‘The one great flaw in the present set up is preference cannot be given by governors to pupils from the borough because the Greenwich Judgement precludes this.’
      • ‘To me, the main question is: Is religion being treated equally, or is it being given special preference?’
      • ‘The spokesman said that the recommendations of this committee in all religious affairs, major or minor will be given preference.’
      • ‘The committee would hope to give preference to those who have not been to Lourdes before but all names will be accepted for consideration and placed on a list.’
      • ‘And what about differences between women, across class, ethnicity, sexual preference, age and so on?’
      • ‘Tutors who are familiar with the Secondary School Curriculum and who are proficient in Irish and Maths will be given preference.’
      • ‘He said the end of deference and preference did not mean society did not have any rules.’
      • ‘Across cultures, humans have a strong right-hand preference, reportedly manifest for at least the past 5000 years.’
      priority, favour, precedence, advantage, preferential treatment, favoured treatment, favouritism
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  • 2Law
    A prior right or precedence, especially in connection with the payment of debts:

    ‘debts owed to the community should be accorded a preference’
    • ‘If the Court is against us on preferences, then those credits come back into our loan account.’
    • ‘That must be so whether the preference took the form of the payment of a debt or the grant of a security.’
    • ‘The payment had the effect of conferring a preference, priority or advantage on those creditors over the other creditors.’
    precedence, greater importance, precedency, pre-eminence, first place, highest place, predominance, primacy, the lead, weighting, weight
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Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘promotion’): from Old French, from medieval Latin praeferentia, from Latin praeferre carry in front (see prefer).

Pronunciation:

preference

/ˈprɛf(ə)r(ə)ns/