English

Definition of preference noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    preference

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ˈprefrəns//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈprefrəns//
     
     
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  1. 1  [uncountable, singular] preference (for somebody/something) a greater interest in or desire for somebody/something than somebody/something else It's a matter of personal preference. Many people expressed a strong preference for the original plan. I can't say that I have any particular preference. Let's make a list of possible speakers, in order of preference.
  2. 2  [countable] a thing that is liked better or best a study of consumer preferences Synonymschoicefavourite preference selection pickThese are all words for a person or thing that is chosen, or that is liked more than others.choice a person or thing that is chosen:She’s the obvious choice for the job.favourite/​favorite a person or thing that you like more than the others of the same type:Which one’s your favourite?preference a thing that is liked better or best:Tastes and preferences vary from individual to individual.favourite or preference?Your favourites are the things you like best, and that you have, do, listen to, etc. often; your preferences are the things that you would rather have or do if you can choose.selection a number of people or things that have been chosen from a larger group:A selection of reader’s comments are published below.pick (rather informal) a person or thing that is chosen:She was his pick for best actress.Patterns somebody’s choice/​favourite/​pick for something somebody’s choice/​selection/​pick as something an obvious choice/​favourite/​selection a(n) excellent/​good/​popular/​fine choice/​selection
  3. Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘promotion’): from Old French, from medieval Latin praeferentia, from Latin praeferre ‘carry in front’, from prae ‘before’ + ferre ‘to bear, carry’.Extra examples Do you have any particular preference? He has not expressed a preference as to which school he wants to go to. His policy preferences are pretty centrist. I choose motorways when driving, for preference. I travel by plane, for preference. It’s a matter of personal preference. Learners show a preference for one learning style over others. List the candidates in order of preference. Local voters gave Harry West first preference. My first preference is for the applicant from Hong Kong. Older people tend to express a preference for dark chocolate. Preference is given to students who have passed mathematics and chemistry. She was happy to arrange her schedule to suit their preferences. Some countries receive preference over others. They bought French planes in preference to British ones. changing preferences in furniture styles designs that reflect their individual preferences discrimination based on race, religion, gender or sexual preference his consistent opposition to racial preferences while a legislator modern children’s food preferences people’s preferences between brown and white bread student preferences towards/​toward the various activities the government’s preference for tax cuts over greater public spending their preferences regarding websites I can’t say that I have any particular preference. Let’s make a list of possible speakers, in order of preference. Tastes and preferences vary from individual to individual. They are undertaking a study of consumer preferences. a preference for brown breadIdioms
    give (a) preference to somebody/something
     
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    to treat somebody/something in a way that gives them an advantage over other people or things Preference will be given to graduates of this university.
    in preference to somebody/something
     
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     rather than somebody/something She was chosen in preference to her sister.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: preference