Share this entry

Share this page

prefer

Line breaks: pre¦fer
Pronunciation: /prɪˈfəː
 
/

Definition of prefer in English:

verb (prefers, preferring, preferred)

[with object]
1Like (one thing or person) better than another or others; tend to choose: I prefer Venice to Rome [with infinitive]: I would prefer to discuss the matter in private [with clause]: Val would presumably prefer that you didn’t get arrested
More example sentences
  • People have become lazy, preferring their favourite programmes to films.
  • Couples preferring a civil ceremony are increasingly choosing an approved location such as a hotel or stately home with a licence rather than a register office.
  • Many people simply prefer the star and will choose it over the other symbols.
Synonyms
like better, would rather (have), would sooner (have), favour, be more partial to, lean/incline towards, think preferable;
choose, select, pick, opt for, go for, vote for, plump for, single out, elect, wish, desire, want
informal fancy
2 formal Submit (a charge or a piece of information) for consideration: the police will prefer charges
More example sentences
  • The person in question was a solicitor against whom the Law Society preferred three charges of misconduct.
  • The Prosecutor, before preferring the charges against the accused, looks for and gathers the evidence.
  • Jane has been the victim of an unlawful drugs raid although no charges were preferred after it.
Synonyms
3 archaic Promote or advance (someone) to a prestigious position: he was eventually preferred to the bishopric of Durham

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French preferer, from Latin praeferre, from prae 'before' + ferre 'to bear, carry'.

More
  • If you prefer something you make it your first choice, a sense found in the original Latin praeferre formed from prae ‘before’ and ferre ‘to carry’. See also refer

Definition of prefer in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure