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

  • noun The selecting of someone or something over another or others.
  • noun The right or chance to make a choice.
  • noun Someone or something so chosen or preferred: synonym: choice.
  • noun The state of being preferred; favor over others.
  • noun A priority of payment given to one or more creditors by an insolvent debtor.
  • noun The right of a creditor to priority of payment.
  • noun The presentation of a case as ready for consideration.
  • noun The formal presentation of criminal charges against someone.
  • noun The granting of precedence or advantage to one country or group of countries in levying duties or in other matters of international trade.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A European game of cards, something like boston.
  • noun The act of preferring or choosing one thing rather than another, or the state of being preferred or chosen; estimation of one thing above another; choice.
  • noun Specifically, in law, the payment or right to have payment of one debt or class of debtsmade by a debtor or out of his estate, in full, before any of the assets are applied to unpreferred debts: as, the debtor's assignment gave a preference to demands for borrowed money; the state has a preference for taxes.
  • noun The object of choice; a person, thing, or course of action chosen preferably to others.
  • noun In the game of boston, one of the two suits of the color of the card turned up, just after the first deal.

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

  • noun The act of Preferring, or the state of being preferred; the setting of one thing before another; precedence; higher estimation; predilection; choice; also, the power or opportunity of choosing.
  • noun That which is preferred; the object of choice or superior favor; as, which is your preference?

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

  • noun The selection of one thing or person over others.
  • noun The option to so select, and the one selected.
  • noun The state of being preferred over others.
  • noun A strong liking or personal valuation.
  • noun A preferential bias; partiality; discrimination.
  • noun Preferans, a card game, principally played in Eastern Europe.
  • verb US To give preferential treatment to; to give a preference to.

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

  • noun grant of favor or advantage to one over another (especially to a country or countries in matters of international trade, such as levying duties)
  • noun the right or chance to choose
  • noun a strong liking
  • noun a predisposition in favor of something


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

[Middle English preferraunce, preferment, from Old French preference, from preferer, to prefer; see prefer.]


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