What does prefer mean?

Definitions for prefer

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word prefer.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. preferverb

    like better; value more highly

    "Some people prefer camping to staying in hotels"; "We prefer sleeping outside"

  2. choose, prefer, optverb

    select as an alternative over another

    "I always choose the fish over the meat courses in this restaurant"; "She opted for the job on the East coast"

  3. prefer, favor, favourverb

    promote over another

    "he favors his second daughter"

  4. preferverb

    give preference to one creditor over another


  1. preferverb

    To advance, promote (someone).

  2. preferverb

    To be in the habit of choosing something rather than something else; to favor; to like better.

    I prefer tea to coffee.

  3. preferverb

    To present or submit (something) to an authority (now usually in "to prefer charges").

  4. preferverb

    To put forward for acceptance; to introduce, recommend (to).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To PREFERverb

    Etymology: preferer, Fr. præfero, Lat.

    With brotherly love, in honour prefer one another. Ro.

    If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Psalm cxxxvii. 6.

    He that cometh after me, is preferred before me; for he was before me. Jo. i. 15.

    It may worthily seem unto you a most shameful thing, to have prefered an infamous peace before a most just war. Richard Knolles.

    O spirit, that dost prefer
    Before all temples th’ upright heart. John Milton.

    Would he rather leave this frantick scene,
    And trees and beasts prefer to courts and men. Matthew Prior.

    By the recommendation of the earl of Dunbar, he was prefer’d to the bishoprick of Coventry and Litchfield. Edward Hyde.

    He spake, and to her hand prefer’d the bowl. Alexander Pope.

    They flatly disavouch
    To yield him more obedience or support;
    And as t’ a perjur’d duke of Lancaster,
    Their cartel of defiance they prefer. Daniel.

    I, when my soul began to faint,
    My vows and prayers to thee prefer’d;
    The lord my passionate complaint,
    Even from his holy temple, heard. George Sandys.

    Prefer a bill against all kings and parliaments since the conquest; and if that won’t do, challenge the crown and the two houses. Jeremy Collier, on Duelling.

    Take care,
    Lest thou prefer so rash a pray’r;
    Nor vainly hope the queen of love
    Will e’er thy fav’rite’s charms improve. Matthew Prior.

    Every person within the church or commonwealth may prefer an accusation, that the delinquent may suffer condign punishment. John Ayliffe, Parergon.


  1. prefer

    In psychology, economics and philosophy, preference is a technical term usually used in relation to choosing between alternatives. For example, someone prefers A over B if they would rather choose A than B. Preferences are central to decision theory because of this relation to behavior. Some methods such as Ordinal Priority Approach use preference relation for decision-making. As connative states, they are closely related to desires. The difference between the two is that desires are directed at one object while preferences concern a comparison between two alternatives, of which one is preferred to the other. In insolvency, the term is used to determine which outstanding obligation the insolvent party has to settle first.


  1. prefer

    Prefer generally refers to liking or desiring something more than another. It is the process of establishing or indicating a choice or priority from a multitude of options based on personal values, tastes, or benefits.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Preferverb

    to carry or bring (something) forward, or before one; hence, to bring for consideration, acceptance, judgment, etc.; to offer; to present; to proffer; to address; -- said especially of a request, prayer, petition, claim, charge, etc

  2. Preferverb

    to go before, or be before, in estimation; to outrank; to surpass

  3. Preferverb

    to cause to go before; hence, to advance before others, as to an office or dignity; to raise; to exalt; to promote; as, to prefer an officer to the rank of general

  4. Preferverb

    to set above or before something else in estimation, favor, or liking; to regard or honor before another; to hold in greater favor; to choose rather; -- often followed by to, before, or above

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Prefer

    prē-fėr′, v.t. to esteem above another: to regard or hold in higher estimation: to choose or select before others: to promote: to exalt: to offer or present, as a request: to bring forward for consideration: to place in advance:—pr.p. prefer′ring; pa.t. and pa.p. preferred′.ns. Preferabil′ity, Pref′erableness.—adj. Pref′erable, worthy to be preferred or chosen: more desirable or excellent: of better quality.—adv. Pref′erably, by choice: in preference.—n. Pref′erence, the act of preferring: estimation above another: the state of being preferred: that which is preferred: choice.—adj. Preferential (pref-ėr-en′shal), having a preference.—adv. Preferen′tially.—ns. Prefer′ment, the act of preferring: the state of being preferred or advanced: advancement to a higher position: promotion: superior place, esp. in the church; Prefer′rer, one who prefers.—Preference shares, or stock, shares or stock on which the dividends must be paid before those on other kinds. [Fr. préférer—L. præferrepræ, before, ferre, to bear.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prefer' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2908

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prefer' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1837

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prefer' in Verbs Frequency: #304

How to pronounce prefer?

How to say prefer in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of prefer in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of prefer in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of prefer in a Sentence

  1. Chief Financial Officer John Stephens:

    We expect the millions of people who don't now subscribe to a video service and prefer a streaming option will be impressed.

  2. Mandarine Gestion Salleron:

    I prefer to bet on stability, even if this is not going to work for French banks in the short term. I think they have a more prudent approach, which can satisfy investors over the longer term.

  3. Roberto Carlos:

    I always practice, every day. I prefer to kick with the outside of my foot. There's no secret, it's (a question of) concentration.

  4. Michael Weedon:

    Using data from 700,000 individuals, we've found 351 genetic factors that influence whether you prefer mornings or evenings, these factors affect what time people sleep and wake up.

  5. Marty Carpenter:

    We regret anyone ever commits the heinous crime of aggravated murder to merit the death penalty and we prefer to use our primary method of lethal injection when such a sentence is issued. However, when a jury makes the decision and a judge signs a death warrant, enforcing that lawful decision is the obligation of the executive branch.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for prefer

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"prefer." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/prefer>.

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    any foodstuff made by combining different ingredients
    A concoction
    B sweep
    C hunch
    D brasserie

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