9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pref-er-uh ns, pref-ruh ns] /ˈprɛf ər əns, ˈprɛf rəns/
the act of preferring.
the state of being preferred.
that which is preferred; choice:
His preference is vanilla, not chocolate.
a practical advantage given to one over others.
a prior right or claim, as to payment of dividends or to assets upon dissolution.
the favoring of one country or group of countries by granting special advantages over others in international trade.
Origin of preference
1595-1605; < Medieval Latin praeferentia. See prefer, -ence
Related forms
nonpreference, noun
self-preference, noun
3. selection, pick. See choice. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for preference
  • Even rats with low preference for booze drank significantly less after treatment.
  • We provide furnished housing as a choice of either an apartment or a villa depending on your preference.
  • College teaching experience required, and preference will be given to candidates who also have high school teaching experience.
  • It allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference.
  • Scientists had long thought that the lesser short-tailed bat evolved its walking preference independently.
  • They generally display a pronounced preference as to genre as well.
  • Wish you could vote for all photo's in order of preference.
  • It's now possible to observe this preference at work in the brain.
  • preference will be given to candidates with experience and interests in honey bee extension and/or research.
  • There is now a thin buffer of core equity between the taxpayer's preference shares and any further losses.
British Dictionary definitions for preference


/ˈprɛfərəns; ˈprɛfrəns/
the act of preferring
something or someone preferred
  1. the settling of the claims of one or more creditors before or to the exclusion of those of the others
  2. a prior right to payment, as of a dividend or share in the assets of a company in the event of liquidation
(commerce) the granting of favour or precedence to particular foreign countries, as by levying differential tariffs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for preference

mid-15c., "advancement in position or status;" 1650s as "act of prefering," from Middle French preference (14c., Modern French préférence), from Medieval Latin preferentia, from past participle stem of Latin praeferrere (see prefer). Sense of "that which one prefers" is from 1852.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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