Definition of favor in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfāvər/
(British favour)


1An attitude of approval or liking: the legislation is viewed with favor
More example sentences
  • Those at the CIA with more alarmist views gained favor at the White House, while those who were more skeptical lost it.
  • Open theism has found some favor with Pentecostals who view it in terms of a spirited give-and-take with God.
  • When the favor of God breathes upon us, there is none of these things which may not turn out to our happiness.
approval, approbation, goodwill, kindness, benevolence
1.1Support or advancement given as a sign of approval: a struggle between competing aides for presidential favor
patronage, backing, support, assistance
1.2Overgenerous preferential treatment: they accused you of showing favor to one of the players
More example sentences
  • Both sides of a trial seek bias in their own favour as, according to the film's ads, some cases ‘are too important to be left to juries’.
  • His petition to the Scottish parliament accuses government bodies meant to regulate the fish farming industry of being biased in its favour.
  • This pact is utterly one-sided-in Mexico's favor.
favoritism, bias, partiality, partisanship
1.3A small gift or souvenir: good party favors include stickers, hair barrettes, or crayons
More example sentences
  • Physicians are often enticed to attend these CME programs with free meals and other favors and gifts.
  • When you're preparing the baby shower supplies, gifts and favors, the shower theme will practically tell you the best ideas to pick up.
  • The tricky thing is to draw an appropriate line between a token gift or favor and a more substantial one.
1.4 archaic A thing such as a badge or knot of ribbons that is given or worn as a mark of liking or support.
2An act of kindness beyond what is due or usual: I’ve come to ask you a favor
More example sentences
  • Of course what they really meant was, ‘Do me a favour.’
  • Do us a favour: Read this book and listen to this tape.
  • Do us a favour, get a dictionary and look up what a gradient is.
service, good turn, good deed, kindness, act of kindness, courtesy
2.1 (one's favors) dated Used with reference to a woman allowing a man to have sexual intercourse with her: she had granted her favors to him
More example sentences
  • The priest borrows the sum from the merchant and hands it to the wife, and the wife grants him her favours.


[with object]
1Feel or show approval or preference for: slashing public spending is a policy that few politicians favor
More example sentences
  • It also approved a relaxation of some of the conditions attached to its initial approval and this again favoured the developer.
  • The demand for UN approval is favoured by sections of the European ruling class and various antiwar groupings.
  • Most of the people surveyed favor FDA regulation to approve product safety.
prefer, lean toward, opt for, tend toward, be in favor of;
approve (of), advocate, support
1.1Give unfairly preferential treatment to: critics argued that the policy favored the private sector
More example sentences
  • If you believe a club gets favoured treatment from the NRL, name the club?
  • Nevertheless, it is widely believed that that current laws disproportionately and unfairly favour women.
  • Critics claim that the Indian government unfairly favors the IITs when education dollars are doled out.
1.2Work to the advantage of: natural selection has favored bats
More example sentences
  • The contrast is between a random sampling of gametes that leads to the fixation of selectively neutral alleles and natural selection favoring advantageous variations.
  • In the competitive struggle for existence, creatures possessing advantageous mutations would be favoured, eventually evolving into new species.
  • The ball blew all over the field and although it did favour the home side in the second half, they couldn't get the equalising goal.
benefit, advantage, help, assist, aid, be of service to, do a favor for
2 (favor someone with) (Often used in polite requests) give someone (something that they want): please favor me with an answer
More example sentences
  • She favoured me with what might have been a fond glance, sighed a mega-cat sigh, and went back to sleep.
  • Marlow favored us with what must seem like an enigmatic smile, but I knew better.
  • Ariana favored Mae with one of her shark-like smiles.
oblige, honor, gratify, humor, indulge
3 dated or North American informal Resemble (a parent or relative) in facial features: she’s pretty, and she favors you
More example sentences
  • I don't really know him so I was shocked to see how much he favors our grandfather and great-grandfather.
  • Her very soft southern accent and her facial features favor those of her late father.
  • He favors my mother and I think I got the best of my dad.
4Treat (an injured limb) gently, not putting one’s full weight on it: he favors his sore leg
More example sentences
  • Nicholas rose with some difficulty, favoring his injured leg, and began to make his way over to Erin just as Mr. Saturn did something by the wall.
  • Floyd has been favoring the sore foot, which he says is always on his mind and is preventing him from getting the proper balance he needs at the plate.
  • She appeared to be favoring a sore foot on floor exercise, finishing the event with a simple layout.



do someone a favor

Do something for someone as an act of kindness.
Example sentences
  • They act like they're perfect and they're doing you a favour by even talking to you.
  • He's probably doing you a favor by taking the job on.
  • We have to win both our games and rely on other teams doing us a favour.

in favor

1 (also out of favor) Meeting (or not meeting) with approval: they were not in favor with the party proper dancing has gone out of favor
More example sentences
  • Other sites currently out of favour in my head are ones that were firm favourites three or six or twelve months ago.
  • The latter may not be in favour currently, but he surely doesn't deserve a punishment like that!
  • That means the representatives of the vast majority of the population are in favour.
2Having or showing approval: the appeals court ruled 2-1 in favor of his extradition
on the side of, pro, (all) for, giving support to, approving of, sympathetic to

in one's favor

To one’s advantage: events were moving in his favor
More example sentences
  • They eventually paid the price but the home side could only add a penalty when the numeric advantage stood in their favour.
  • This gives us something we can use in our favour, a huge advantage.
  • I expect a numerical advantage to be in our favour for today's derby, though.

in favor of

1To be replaced by: he stepped down as leader in favor of his rival
More example sentences
  • When they fail that task I vote them out in favour of someone who will try harder.
2To the advantage of: the final score was 25-16 in favor of Washington
More example sentences
  • The union warned of a walkout in the new year if workers vote in favour of strikes.
  • Members voted overwhelmingly in favour of annual elections in a recent ballot.
  • Many locals and individual unions have voted in favor of a one-day general strike.



Example sentences
  • Great meetings are being held in which warm and angry words prevail by both favourers and denouncers of the measure, and petitions, pro and con, to both houses of parliament, are lying for signature in all parts of this town.


Middle English (in the noun sense 'liking, preference'): via Old French from Latin favor, from favere 'show kindness to' (related to fovere 'cherish').

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fa·vor

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