What does prefer mean?

Definitions for prefer

Here are all the possible meanings 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.

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. Zhao Ruoqing:

    After the food scares erupted, me and my family didn't go for a long time to these fast food chains, i'm not sure I totally trust either chain yet, but I now go to McDonald's when I'm in a rush because I prefer the atmosphere.

  2. Herbert Agar:

    The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.

  3. Health Minister Olivier Veran:

    They take a while to make but they offer security. I prefer that to telling French people to put a scarf around their nose or make a mask from a T-shirt.

  4. Anthony Burgess:

    Women thrive on novelty and are easy meat for the commerce of fashion. Men prefer old pipes and torn jackets.

  5. White House spokesman Josh Earnest:

    The list of people invited to meet with the president in Cuba in non-negotiable, i would not be surprised if there are people on that list that the Cuban government prefer we not meet with ... but I can tell you the president is going to move forward in those meetings and have a conversation about human rights.

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Translations for prefer

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    a sharp hand gesture (resembling a blow)
    • A. lumberman
    • B. jab
    • C. hodgepodge
    • D. snap

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