An example of to prefer is choosing vanilla over chocolate.
- Archaic to put before someone else in rank, office, etc.; promote; advance
- to put before a magistrate, administrator, court, etc. for consideration, sanction, or redress: to prefer charges against an attacker
- to put before something or someone else in one's liking, opinion, etc.; like better
- to give preference or priority to (a creditor, etc.)
Origin of preferMiddle English preferren ; from Middle French preferer ; from Classical Latin praeferre, to place before ; from prae-, pre- + ferre, bear
transitive verbpre·ferred, pre·fer·ring, pre·fers
- To choose or be in the habit of choosing as more desirable or as having more value: prefers coffee to tea.
- Law a. To give priority or precedence to (a creditor).b. To present (a charge) against a defendant before a court: prefer an indictment.c. To present (a case) to a court as ready for consideration: prefer the case for trial.
- Archaic To recommend for advancement or appointment; promote.
Origin of preferMiddle English preferren, from Old French preferer, from Latin praeferre : prae-, pre- + ferre, to carry; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present prefers, present participle preferring, simple past and past participle preferred)
- (now dated) To advance, promote (someone). [from 14th c.]
- To be in the habit of choosing something rather than something else; to favor; to like better. [from 14th c.]
- To present or submit (something) to an authority (now usually in "to prefer charges"). [from 16th c.]
- 1817, Walter Scott, Rob Roy, XVII:
- Such were the arguments which my will boldly preferred to my conscience, as coin which ought to be current, and which conscience, like a grumbling shopkeeper, was contented to accept [...].
- The verb can be used in three different forms:
- prefer + noun + to(over) + noun. Example: I prefer coffee to tea.
- prefer + gerund + to(over) + gerund. Example: I prefer skiing to swimming.
- prefer + full infinitive + rather than + bare infinitive. Example: I prefer to eat fish rather than (eat) meat.