favoritism

[fey-ver-i-tiz-uhm, feyv-ri-]
noun
1.
the favoring of one person or group over others with equal claims; partiality: to show favoritism toward the youngest child.
2.
the state of being a favorite.

Origin:
1755–65; favorite + -ism

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
favouritism or (US) favoritism (ˈfeɪvərɪˌtɪzəm, ˈfeɪvrɪ-, ˈfeɪvərɪˌtɪzəm, ˈfeɪvrɪ-)
 
n
1.  the practice of giving special treatment to a person or group
2.  the state of being treated as a favourite
 
favoritism or (US) favoritism
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

favoritism
1763, from favorite + -ism.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Yes, science needs to guard against favoritism when conducting studies of any
  type.
If humans are involved in the decisions, there is always the possibility of
  favoritism and retaliation in the awards.
Infighting, power-struggles and favoritism were rampant.
School executives move beyond the bounds of ethical behavior when they exercise
  favoritism or act unethically to avoid trouble.
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