American English

Definition of favor noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (favour) noun
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  1. 1[countable] a thing that you do to help someone Could you do me a favor and pick up Sam from school today? Can Iask a favor? I would never ask for any favors from her. I'm going as a favor to Ann, not because I want to. I'll ask Steve to take it. He owes me a favor. Thanks for helping me out. I'll return the favor (= help you because you have helped me) sometime. Do yourself a favor (= help yourself) and wear a helmet on your bike.
  2. approval
  3. 2[uncountable] approval or support for someone or something The suggestion to close the road has found favor with (= been supported by) local people. The program has lost favor with viewers recently. an athlete who fell out of favor after a drug scandal (formal) The government looks with favor on (= approves of) the report's recommendations. She's not in favor with (= supported or liked by) the media right now. It seems Tim has come back into favor with the boss (= the boss likes him again).
  4. better treatment
  5. 3[uncountable] treatment that is generous to one person or group in a way that seems unfair to others synonym bias As a coach, she showed no favor to any of the girls on the softball team.
  6. party gift
  7. 4favors [plural] = party favors
  8. sex
  9. 5favors [plural] (old-fashioned) agreement to have sex with someone demands for sexual favors
  10. Idioms
    the cards/odds are stacked in your favor
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    you are likely to succeed because the conditions are good and you have an advantage
    curry favor (with somebody) (disapproving)
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    to try to get someone to like or support you by praising or helping them a lot He's always trying to curry favor with the boss.
    do me a favor (informal)
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    used to angrily tell someone that you want them to do something Do me a favor and leave before you break anything else.
    do somebody no favors
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    to do something that is not helpful to someone, or that gives a bad impression of them You're not doing yourself any favors, working for nothing. The orchestra did Beethoven no favors.
      in favor (of somebody/something)
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    1. 1if you are in favor of someone or something, you support and agree with them/it He argued in favor of a strike. There were 247 votes in favor (of the motion) and 2 against. I'm all in favor of (= completely support) equal pay for equal work. Most of the “don't knows” in the opinion polls came down in favor of (= eventually chose to support) the Democrats.
    2. 2in exchange for another thing (because the other thing is better or you want it more) He abandoned teaching in favor of a career as a musician.
      in somebody's favor
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    1. 1if something is in someone's favor, it gives them an advantage or helps them The exchange rate is in our favor right now. She was willing to bend the rules in Mary's favor.
    2. 2a decision or judgment that is in someone's favor benefits that person or says that they were right The court decided in Ms. Smith's favor and she received compensation for unfair dismissal.
    without fear or favor (formal)
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    in a fair way They undertook to make their judgment without fear or favor.