from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A gracious, friendly, or obliging act that is freely granted.
  • noun Friendly or favorable regard; approval or support.
  • noun A state of being held in such regard.
  • noun Unfair partiality; favoritism.
  • noun A privilege or concession.
  • noun Permission to engage in sexual activity, especially when granted by a woman to a male partner.
  • noun Something given as a token of love, affection, or remembrance.
  • noun A small decorative gift given to each guest at a party.
  • noun Advantage; benefit.
  • noun Behalf; interest.
  • noun Obsolete A communication, especially a letter.
  • noun Aspect or appearance.
  • noun Countenance; face.
  • noun Obsolete A facial feature.
  • intransitive verb To perform a kindness or service for; oblige. synonym: oblige.
  • intransitive verb To have a liking for; be partial to; prefer.
  • intransitive verb To approve, advocate, or support.
  • intransitive verb To show partiality or unfair preference to.
  • intransitive verb To believe to be most likely to succeed.
  • intransitive verb To be advantageous to; make more likely to be successful.
  • intransitive verb To speed up or otherwise increase the success of (a chemical process or pathway).
  • intransitive verb To treat with care; be gentle with.
  • intransitive verb Chiefly Southern US To resemble in appearance.
  • intransitive verb To resemble another in appearance.
  • idiom (in favor of) In support of; approving.
  • idiom (in favor of) To the advantage of.
  • idiom (in favor of) Inscribed or made out to the benefit of.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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).
  • noun Good will; kind regard; countenance; friendly disposition; a willingness to aid, support, or defend.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The object of kind regard; the person or thing favored.
  • noun A kind act or office; kindness done or manifested; any act of grace or good will, as distinguished from acts of justice or remuneration.
  • noun Partial kindness; biased regard or consideration; predilection; partiality: as, kissing goes by favor; a fair field and no favor.
  • noun Leave; permission; indulgence; concession.
  • noun Advantage; convenience afforded for success: as, the enemy approached under favor of the night.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Countenance; appearance; look; features.
  • noun A charm; attraction; grace.


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