from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A gracious, friendly, or obliging act that is freely granted: do someone a favor.
  • n. Friendly or favorable regard; approval or support: won the favor of the monarch; looked with favor on the plan.
  • n. A state of being held in such regard: a style currently in favor.
  • n. Unfair partiality; favoritism.
  • n. A privilege or concession.
  • n. Sexual privileges, especially as granted by a woman.
  • n. Something given as a token of love, affection, or remembrance.
  • n. A small decorative gift given to each guest at a party.
  • n. Advantage; benefit: sailed under favor of cloudless skies.
  • n. Behalf; interest: an error in our favor.
  • n. Obsolete A communication, especially a letter.
  • n. Archaic Aspect or appearance.
  • n. Archaic Countenance; face.
  • n. Obsolete A facial feature.
  • transitive v. To perform a kindness or service for; oblige. See Synonyms at oblige.
  • transitive v. To treat or regard with friendship, approval, or support.
  • transitive v. To be partial to; indulge a liking for: favors bright colors.
  • transitive v. To be or tend to be in support of.
  • transitive v. To make easier or more possible; facilitate: Darkness favored their escape.
  • transitive v. To treat with care; be gentle with: favored my wounded leg.
  • transitive v. Chiefly Southern U.S. To resemble in appearance: She favors her father.
  • intransitive v. Chiefly Southern U.S. To resemble another in appearance: She and her father favor.
  • idiom in favor of In support of; approving: We are in favor of her promotion to president.
  • idiom in favor of To the advantage of: The court decided in favor of the plaintiff.
  • idiom in favor of Inscribed or made out to the benefit of: a check in favor of a charity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A deed; an instance of voluntarily assisting (someone).
  • n. Goodwill; benevolent regard.
  • n. A small gift; a party favor.
  • v. To look upon fondly; to prefer.
  • v. To treat with care.
  • v. To have a similar appearance, to look like another person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Kind regard; propitious aspect; countenance; friendly disposition; kindness; good will.
  • n. The act of countenancing, or the condition of being countenanced, or regarded propitiously; support; promotion; befriending.
  • n. A kind act or office; kindness done or granted; benevolence shown by word or deed; an act of grace or good will, as distinct from justice or remuneration.
  • n. Mildness or mitigation of punishment; lenity.
  • n. The object of regard; person or thing favored.
  • n. A gift or present; something bestowed as an evidence of good will; a token of love; a knot of ribbons; something worn as a token of affection.
  • n. Appearance; look; countenance; face.
  • n. Partiality; bias.
  • n. A letter or epistle; -- so called in civility or compliment.
  • n. Love locks.
  • transitive v. To regard with kindness; to support; to aid, or to have the disposition to aid, or to wish success to; to be propitious to; to treat with consideration or tenderness; to show partiality or unfair bias towards.
  • transitive v. To afford advantages for success to; to facilitate.
  • transitive v. To resemble in features; to have the aspect or looks of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To regard with favor; entertain favor for; be disposed to aid; countenance; befriend; regard or treat with favor or partiality; accommodate: as, to favor the weaker side.
  • To be favorable to; facilitate or render easier: as, the darkness of the night favored the enemy's approach.
  • To resemble in features or aspect; look somewhat like.
  • To ease; spare: as, to favor a lame leg.
  • To extenuate; palliate; represent favorably, as in painting or description.
  • Synonyms To patronize, help, assist.
  • To have the semblance (of).
  • n. Good will; kind regard; countenance; friendly disposition; a willingness to aid, support, or defend.
  • n. The state of favoring or of being favored; friendly consideration bestowed or received; objective regard, aid, support, or behoof: with in: as, to be or act in favor of a person or thing; to resign an office in favor of another; he is in high favor at court or with the people.
  • n. The object of kind regard; the person or thing favored.
  • n. A kind act or office; kindness done or manifested; any act of grace or good will, as distinguished from acts of justice or remuneration.
  • n. Partial kindness; biased regard or consideration; predilection; partiality: as, kissing goes by favor; a fair field and no favor.
  • n. Leave; permission; indulgence; concession.
  • n. Advantage; convenience afforded for success: as, the enemy approached under favor of the night.
  • n. Something bestowed as a token of good will or of love; a gift or present; hence, a gift, usually from a woman to a man, as a sleeve, glove, or knot of ribbons, to be worn, as a token of friendship or love, at a fair or wedding, in a festive assembly, or habitually, as formerly in knight-errantry.
  • n. Countenance; appearance; look; features.
  • n. A charm; attraction; grace.
  • n. A letter or written communication: said complimentarily: as, your favor of yesterday's date is to hand.
  • n. Synonyms Patronage, support, championship. Benefit.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. souvenir consisting of a small gift given to a guest at a party
  • v. promote over another
  • n. an inclination to approve
  • n. an act of gracious kindness
  • n. a feeling of favorable regard
  • v. treat gently or carefully
  • v. bestow a privilege upon
  • n. an advantage to the benefit of someone or something
  • v. consider as the favorite


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin, from favēre, to be favorable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman favour, from mainland Old French favor, from Latin favor, respelled in English to more closely match its Latin etymon.



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  • There are several words that combine with 'favor' in American English that are spelled 'favour' in British English. Although several of both versions appear in Wordnik, at the time of this entry neither 'favor' nor some of the others 'unfavorable' 'unfavourable' are cross-referenced.

    The spellchecker on this facility appears to 'favour' the British English version!

    June 6, 2012