Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The selecting of someone or something over another or others.
  • n. The right or chance to so choose.
  • n. Someone or something so chosen. See Synonyms at choice.
  • n. The state of being preferred.
  • n. Law A priority of payment given to one or more creditors by an insolvent debtor.
  • n. Law The right of a creditor to priority of payment.
  • n. The granting of precedence or advantage to one country or group of countries in levying duties or in other matters of international trade.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The selection of one thing or person over others.
  • n. The option to so select, and the one selected.
  • n. The state of being preferred over others.
  • n. A strong liking or personal valuation.
  • n. A preferential bias; partiality; discrimination.
  • n. Preferans, a card game, principally played in Eastern Europe.
  • v. To give preferential treatment to; to give a preference to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of Preferring, or the state of being preferred; the setting of one thing before another; precedence; higher estimation; predilection; choice; also, the power or opportunity of choosing.
  • n. That which is preferred; the object of choice or superior favor; as, which is your preference?

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of preferring or choosing one thing rather than another, or the state of being preferred or chosen; estimation of one thing above another; choice.
  • n. Specifically, in law, the payment or right to have payment of one debt or class of debtsmade by a debtor or out of his estate, in full, before any of the assets are applied to unpreferred debts: as, the debtor's assignment gave a preference to demands for borrowed money; the state has a preference for taxes.
  • n. The object of choice; a person, thing, or course of action chosen preferably to others.
  • n. In the game of boston, one of the two suits of the color of the card turned up, just after the first deal.
  • n. A European game of cards, something like boston.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. grant of favor or advantage to one over another (especially to a country or countries in matters of international trade, such as levying duties)
  • n. the right or chance to choose
  • n. a strong liking
  • n. a predisposition in favor of something

Etymologies

Middle English preferraunce, preferment, from Old French preference, from preferer, to prefer; see prefer.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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