Definition of prefer verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  

prefer

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//prɪˈfɜː(r)//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈfɜːr//
 
(not used in the progressive tenses)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they prefer
BrE BrE//prɪˈfɜː(r)//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈfɜːr//
 
he / she / it prefers
BrE BrE//prɪˈfɜːz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈfɜːrz//
 
past simple preferred
BrE BrE//prɪˈfɜːd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈfɜːrd//
 
past participle preferred
BrE BrE//prɪˈfɜːd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈfɜːrd//
 
past simple preferring
BrE BrE//prɪˈfɜːrɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈfɜːrɪŋ//
 
past participle preferring
BrE BrE//prɪˈfɜːrɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//prɪˈfɜːrɪŋ//
 
 
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  • to like one thing or person better than another; to choose one thing rather than something else because you like it better prefer something ‘Coffee or tea?’ ‘I'd prefer tea, thanks.’ I much prefer jazz to rock music. I would prefer it if you didn't tell anyone. A local firm is to be preferred. prefer something + adj. I prefer my coffee black. prefer to do something The donor prefers to remain anonymous. I prefer not to think about it. prefer somebody/something to do something Would you prefer me to stay? prefer doing something I prefer playing in defence. prefer that… (formal) I would prefer that you did not mention my name. More Like This Consonant-doubling verbs bob, club, dub, grab, rub, sob, throb kid, nod, pad, plod, prod, shred, skid, thud beg, blog, bug, drag, drug, flag, hug, jog, log, mug, nag, plug bar, confer, infer, occur, prefer, refer, star, stir, transfer acquit, admit, allot, chat, clot, commit, jut, knit, pat, regret, rot, spot, submit (in British English:) appal, cancel, channel, control, counsel, enrol, equal, excel, fuel, fulfil, label, level, marvel, model, pedal, quarrel, signal, travelSee worksheet. Express YourselfExpressing a preferenceThese are ways of stating what your preferred choice is. Note that we sometimes discount our own expertise or authority before expressing our preference: I like the red one better than/​more than the green one. I prefer beef to lamb. I'd prefer to wait here. I'd rather go to the concert than the play. I think I'd rather stay in than go out tonight. I like swimming better than jogging. I think that colour's much more attractive. It doesn’t really matter to me whether we eat here or go out. (especially North American English) I don't really mind whether we talk now or later. (British English) I’m happy either way. (North American English) I don't really care either way. If it were up to me, I'd choose the green one. If you ask me, the old one looks better than the new one. I’m not an expert but Design B seems more eye-catching.
  • Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French preferer, from Latin praeferre, from prae ‘before’ + ferre ‘to bear, carry’.Extra examples Egg pasta is certainly preferred by many chefs. Employers naturally prefer candidates with some previous experience of the job. Huge majorities apparently prefer reducing unemployment to fighting inflation. I greatly prefer this version. I happen to prefer action movies myself. I much prefer the orchestra’s 1998 recording of the symphony. I prefer his earlier paintings to his later ones. I would really prefer to teach girls. Industries still tend to prefer virgin raw materials to recycled ones. We can eat out if you like, but I would prefer to stay in. You may simply prefer just to sit on the terrace with a cocktail. ‘Coffee or tea?’ ‘I’d prefer tea, thanks.’ A local firm is to be preferred. I prefer jazz to rock music. I would prefer it if you didn’t tell anyone.Idioms
    bring/press/prefer charges against somebody
     
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    (law) to accuse somebody formally of a crime so that there can be a trial in court See related entries: The police
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: prefer