[fey-ver-it, feyv-rit]
a person or thing regarded with special favor or preference: That song is an old favorite of mine.
Sports. a competitor considered likely to win.
a person or thing popular with the public.
a person treated with special or undue favor by a king, official, etc.: favorites at the court.
regarded with particular favor or preference: a favorite child.
Also, especially British, favourite.

1575–85; < Middle French < Italian favorito, past participle of favorire to favor. See favor, -ite2

nonfavorite, noun
prefavorite, noun, adjective
unfavorite, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
favourite or (US) favorite (ˈfeɪvərɪt, ˈfeɪvrɪt, ˈfeɪvərɪt, ˈfeɪvrɪt)
1.  (prenominal) most liked; preferred above all others
2.  a.  a person or thing regarded with especial preference or liking
 b.  (as modifier): a favourite book
3.  sport a competitor thought likely to win
4.  (pl) computing a place on certain browsers that allows internet users to list the addresses of websites they find and like with a click of the mouse so that they can revisit them merely by opening the list and clicking on the address
5.  play favourites to display favouritism
[C16: from Italian favorito, from favorire to favour, from Latin favēre]
favorite or (US) favorite
[C16: from Italian favorito, from favorire to favour, from Latin favēre]

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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Word Origin & History

1580s, from M.Fr., from O.Fr. favorit, variant of favori, pp. of favorir "to favor." In racing, attested from 1813.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for favourite
Said activities make the planet a favourite destination of etymologists.
Nonetheless, she later spoke of the last man as one of her favourite works.
Popular since its first publication, the novel remains a favourite with readers
All the money went to his favourite charity, cancer research.
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