Definitions

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

  • noun One that enjoys special favor or regard.
  • noun One that is trusted, indulged, or preferred above all others, especially by a superior.
  • noun A contestant or competitor regarded as most likely to win.
  • adjective Liked or preferred above all others; regarded with special favor.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A person or thing regarded with peculiar favor, liking, or preference; one who or that which is especially liked or favored.
  • noun A person who has gained the special favor of or a dominant influence over a superior by unworthymeans or for selfish purposes.
  • noun A small curl hanging loose upon the temple: a frequent feature of a woman's head-dress in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
  • Regarded with particular liking, favor, esteem, or preference: as, a favorite walk; a favorite author; a favorite child.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Regarded with particular affection, esteem, or preference
  • noun A person or thing regarded with peculiar favor; one treated with partiality; one preferred above others; especially, one unduly loved, trusted, and enriched with favors by a person of high rank or authority.
  • noun obsolete Short curls dangling over the temples; -- fashionable in the reign of Charles II.
  • noun (Sporting) The competitor (as a horse in a race) that is judged most likely to win; the competitor standing highest in the betting.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Preferred.
  • noun Preferred one, one with special favor
  • noun Expected or most probable to win.
  • verb Alternative form of favor.
  • verb Internet To bookmark.
  • verb Internet To add to one's list of favorites on a website that allows users to compile such lists.

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

  • adjective preferred above all others and treated with partiality
  • noun a special loved one
  • noun something regarded with special favor or liking
  • adjective appealing to the general public
  • noun a competitor thought likely to win

Etymologies

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

[Obsolete French favorit, from Old Italian favorito, past participle of favorire, to favor, from favore, favor, from Latin favor; see favor.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French favorit or favori past participle of favorir ("to favor").

Examples

Comments

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  • I am relieved to see this is not a verb--yet.

    June 30, 2007

  • Oh, I'm afraid it is, slumry, at least on Wordie. We've been "favoriting" other Wordies' lists for quite a while now. :-)

    July 2, 2007

  • See also favorited.

    July 2, 2007

  • Yes, I noticed that after I made the note!

    I have, of course, heard it in other contexts, meaning the same thing. That is what prompted the comment.

    My tongue-in-cheek expression of "relief" referred to the fact that as far as I know, it is not yet in standard dictionaries. It would not surprise me if it is soon. Part of the fun here is watching how language evolves and seeing what endures and what does not.

    Our tastes in language are idiosyncratic, aren't they? What pleases one person is jarring to another. This just happens to be one that gets my goat. For now, I will just continue to add words to my lists of favorite words. ;-)

    July 2, 2007

  • Ah, I see. Generally, I don't like "verbing" either. Have you checked out the list of words newly added to the OED? The times, they are a-changin'.

    July 2, 2007

  • Thanks for the link.

    My guess about "verbing" is that we don't like it when it is new and unfamiliar--especially if we think there is a perfectly suitable alternative. Apparently the process is as old as the language, and I would guess that most *verbifications* (ew, ick, hold nose--not a noun from a verbed noun) fell into disuse. We recognize many as standard English, unaware of their "shady" past.

    July 2, 2007

  • I agree that verbing is a little unusual, and I share the common resistance to change. But, I don't know, it might not be all bad. The nice thing about a verbed noun is that it's fully obvious what it means. The English language is a beast, but this particular practice is intuitive enough that it might actually be an improvement... as long as the "traditional" verbs don't go away when replaced by the new ones.

    July 2, 2007

  • I'm pretty much with you, uselessness. Unless you're talking about "parenting," "partying," or "dialoguing." Then I'll have to plug my ears and close my eyes. Eew.

    July 2, 2007

  • It seems that verbing is quite usual. People do it all the time, and have done it in the past.

    A couple of questions are whether a particular verbification (ouch, I wish I would quit saying that) is useful, and when it is appropriate. Certainly we all have separate lexicons for informal and formal use.

    I am also interested to observe what endures in a time when words are seemingly added to the language at an accellerated rate.

    I agree with both of you that verbing is useful. Again, a lot of it is idiosyncratic. Each of us has our own preferences among verbed nouns. For instance, I can party, but I would much prefer to talk than to dialogue.

    July 2, 2007

  • For what it's worth, a lot of things are happening at an accelerated rate. It's freaky. Have you seen the global population chart that shows an exponential curve approaching nearly vertical in just the past century? I don't know what to think when I see that. Then there are concerns about the technological singularity, which is pretty staggering itself. Heck, I've heard astronomers say that the universe's expansion is speeding up too. At any rate, I've come to expect everything to happen fast these days, as just par for the course.

    July 2, 2007