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

  • n. The act of advancing to a higher position or office; promotion.
  • n. A position, appointment, or rank giving advancement, as of profit or prestige.
  • n. The act of preferring or the state of being preferred.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of choosing, or the state of being chosen; preference.
  • n. The act of preferring, or advancing in dignity or office; the state of being advanced; promotion.
  • n. A position or office of honor or profit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of preferring or esteeming more highly, or the state of being preferred; choice; preference; advancement; promotion.
  • n. A superior place or office, especially in the church.

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

  • n. the act of preferring
  • n. the act of making accusations


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From prefer +‎ -ment.


  • Negatively, which way we are not to look for the fountain of power: Promotion comes not from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert, that is, neither from the desert on the north of Jerusalem nor from that on the south; so that the fair gale of preferment is not to be expected to blow from any point of the compass, but only from above, directly thence.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume III (Job to Song of Solomon)

  • Prouided that if he were a preest or any religious person, he should lose his benefice, and be made vncapeable of any other ecclesiasticall preferment: if he were a laie man, he should lose the prerogatiue of his estate.

    Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (2 of 6): England (3 of 12) Henrie I.

  • My Americanism may be prejudiced and narrow, but the idea of preferment by inheritance and not by personal merit and achievement has the same effect on me as a red rag is said to have upon a certain male quadruped.

    With Sabre and Scalpel. The Autobiography of a Soldier and Surgeon

  • The news which the mayor had just given him of his preferment was the determining reason that decided him to plunge into the scheme which he now for the first time revealed to his wife; he believed it would enable him to give up perfumery all the more quickly, and rise into the regions of the higher bourgeoisie of Paris.

    Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau

  • And if he happens to be a young man, upon what is conventionally said to be his preferment, that is to say, looking out for a partner in life, he may here study all kinds and descriptions of female beauty [laughter and cheers]; he may satisfy his mind whether light hair or dark, blue eyes or black, the tender or the serious, the gay or the sentimental, are most likely to contribute to the happiness of his future life.

    Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z

  • Zeno, with whom these names originated, justified their use about things really indifferent on the ground that at court "preferment" could not be bestowed upon the king himself, but only on his ministers.

    Guide to Stoicism

  • Nor did this opinion deceive me; for, during his whole reign, my administration was in the highest degree despotic: I had everything of royalty but the outward ensigns; no man ever applying for a place, or any kind of preferment, but to me only.

    The Works of Henry Fielding, Volume Six: Miscellanies

  • He got "preferment" as he calls it, and a cure of souls at Margate.

    Mrs. Warren's Daughter A Story of the Woman's Movement

  • For although a Welsh bishopric often led to an English one, a change from Exeter to St. Asaph could hardly have been "preferment" in the ordinary sense.

    Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Exeter A Description of Its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See

  • Too often people with minds of their own are sidelined or don't get the preferment which is doled out to the robots and those who obey the whips 'every demand.

    British Blogs


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  • "This was done by a fair shew and promise of tolleration of Religion, and all preferment at Court : As indeed it was too true in part, for His Majesty, besides what favours he had formerly shewen (for her Majesties sake, as we suppose) did prefer divers to great places of trust, and command under him, whom before were of no repute; or altogether unknown in Court."

    - anonymous, 'The Key to the Kings Cabinet-counsell', 1644.

    August 2, 2009