verb (used with object), preferred, preferring.
to set or hold before or above other persons or things in estimation; like better; choose rather than: to prefer beef to chicken.
Law. to give priority, as to one creditor over another.
to put forward or present (a statement, suit, charge, etc.) for consideration or sanction.
to put forward or advance, as in rank or office; promote: to be preferred for advancement.

1350–1400; Middle English preferre < Latin praeferre to bear before, set before, prefer, equivalent to prae- pre- + ferre to bear1

preferredly [pri-fur-id-lee, -furd-lee] , adverb
preferredness, noun
preferrer, noun
unpreferred, adjective

1. favor, fancy. 3. offer, proffer, tender.

1. reject. 3. retract.

1. See choose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
prefer (prɪˈfɜː)
vb , -fers, -ferring, -ferred
1.  (when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to like better or value more highly: I prefer to stand
2.  law to give preference, esp to one creditor over others
3.  (esp of the police) to put (charges) before a court, judge, magistrate, etc, for consideration and judgment
4.  (tr; often passive) to advance in rank over another or others; promote
[C14: from Latin praeferre to carry in front, prefer, from prae in front + ferre to bear]
usage  Normally, to is used after prefer and preferable, not than: I prefer Brahms to Tchaikovsky; a small income is preferable to no income at all. However, than or rather than should be used to link infinitives: I prefer to walk than/rather than to catch the train

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

late 14c., "to put forward or advance in rank or fortune, to promote," from L. praeferre "place or set before, carry in front," from prae- "before" + ferre "to carry, to place" (see infer). Meaning "to esteem (something) more than others" is recorded from late 14c. Original
sense in English is preserved in preferment.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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