Definition of preferential in English:


Syllabification: pref·er·en·tial
Pronunciation: /ˌprefəˈrenCHəl


  • 1Of or involving preference or partiality; constituting a favor or privilege: preferential interest rates may be offered to employees preferential trade terms
    More example sentences
    • It indicates a biased approach and preferential treatment in favour of individuals and groups.
    • ‘I want to emphasise that I'm not trying to use parliamentary privilege to get preferential treatment or investigation of my specific case,’ he said.
    • The targets, revealed this weekend, are a response to the government drive to counter what it sees as the preferential treatment of ‘privileged’ public school pupils.
    special, better, privileged, superior, favorable; partial, discriminatory, partisan, biased
  • 1.1(Of a union shop) giving employment preference to union members: a preferential shop
  • 1.2(Of voting or an election) in which the voter puts candidates in order of preference.
    More example sentences
    • The preferential vote has allowed the Town Party to become a niche party.
    • This is done so that parties can ‘direct’ their preferential votes.
    • Given a choice with optional preferential voting, voters expressed a primary vote intention, but then did not give preferences.
  • 1.3(Of a creditor) having a claim on the receipt of payment from a debtor that will be met before those of other creditors.
    More example sentences
    • It showed that the assets were sufficient to cover the amount of the debts assigned to the firm and all the potential claims of the preferential creditors.
    • It will amend the Companies Act to make redundancy payments a preferential claim when a company goes into liquidation or receivership.
    • However, the meeting may approve such a proposal or modification with the concurrence of the preferential creditor concerned.



More example sentences
  • Inter-racial tension is inevitable because races represent extended family groups and we have evolved to treat kin preferentially.
  • These calories will be preferentially used for energy, sparing the protein you've eaten for muscle building.
  • Secondly, herbivores preferentially select nutrient-rich tissues, further enhancing nutrient transfer to soils.


mid 19th century: from preference, on the pattern of differential.

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Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
used to address an English nobleman