from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To choose or be in the habit of choosing as more desirable or as having more value: prefers coffee to tea.
- transitive v. Law To give priority or precedence to (a creditor).
- transitive v. Law To file, prosecute, or offer for consideration or resolution before a magistrate, court, or other legal authority: preferred the suit in a higher court.
- transitive v. Archaic To recommend for advancement or appointment; promote.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To carry or bring (something) forward, or before one; hence, to bring for consideration, acceptance, judgment, etc.; to offer; to present; to proffer; to address; -- said especially of a request, prayer, petition, claim, charge, etc.
- transitive v. To go before, or be before, in estimation; to outrank; to surpass.
- transitive v. To cause to go before; hence, to advance before others, as to an office or dignity; to raise; to exalt; to promote.
- transitive v. To set above or before something else in estimation, favor, or liking; to regard or honor before another; to hold in greater favor; to choose rather; -- often followed by to, before, or above.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To bring or set before; present; proffer; offer.
- To offer for consideration or decision; set forth; present in a conventional or formal manner, as a suit, prayer, or accusation.
- To bring into notice or favor; recommend.
- To bring forward or advance in dignity or office; raise; exalt.
- To set before other things in estimation; hold in greater liking or esteem; choose; incline more toward.
- Specifically, in law, to give a preference to. See preference, 2.
- To outrank; be reckoned preferable to.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. select as an alternative over another
- v. give preference to one creditor over another
- v. promote over another
- v. like better; value more highly
Middle English preferren, from Old French preferer, from Latin praeferre : prae-, pre- + ferre, to carry; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman, Middle French preferer, (French préférer), from Latin praeferō. (Wiktionary)