One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘Laura was his favourite aunt’
best-loved, most-liked, favoured, dearest, treasured, pet, special, closest to one's heart
preferred, chosen, choice, ideal
1‘Brutus was always Caesar's favourite’
first choice, choice, pick, preference, pet, beloved, darling
idol, hero, god, goddess, gem, jewel, jewel in the crown
informal fav, blue-eyed boy, golden boy, teacher's pet, the apple of one's eye
North American informal fair-haired boy
2‘the favourite fell at the very first fence’
expected winner, probable winner, front runner
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