One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An environmental preference of a species with reference to a particular variable, such as temperature or salinity.
Originally: a referendum in which voters express their preference or preferences; (subsequently) a vote, typically having more than two options, in which voters give their responses in order of preference.
1930s. From classical Latin praeferendum (neuter singular gerundive of praeferre), originally after German Vorzugstemperatur, lit. ‘temperature of preference’<br>1970s. Blend of preference and referendum. Compare preferential, preference voting.
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