9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pref-uh-ren-shuh l] /ˌprɛf əˈrɛn ʃəl/
of, relating to, or of the nature of preference:
preferential policies.
showing or giving preference:
a preferential hiring system.
receiving or enjoying preference, as a country in trade relations; favored.
Origin of preferential
1840-50; < Medieval Latin praeferenti(a) preference + -al1
Related forms
preferentialism, noun
preferentialist, noun
preferentially, adverb
nonpreferential, adjective
nonpreferentially, adverb
nonpreferentialism, noun
quasi-preferential, adjective
quasi-preferentially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for preferential
  • The loss of preferential treatment prompted a search for new markets.
  • Most of the time our preferential voting system works quite well.
  • preferential absorption and scattering of blue light could definitely skew the sun towards yellow.
  • The author also does not give any reason why grid-based sources are preferential to plug-in sources.
  • Their model exemplifies two primary aspects of user behavior: preferential attachment and aging of resources.
  • They were given preferential access to markets for borrowing money.
  • In terms of the specific subsidies, preferential land-use rights are invoked as an unfair subsidy.
  • On the other hand, preferential treatment to any particular group could lower overall troop morale.
  • But there's no incentive to leave your employer-provided insurance plan if it has preferential tax treatment.
  • Other ethnic minorities, who do not receive preferential gerrymandering, would benefit as well.
British Dictionary definitions for preferential


showing or resulting from preference
giving, receiving, or originating from preference in international trade
Derived Forms
preferentiality (ˌprɛfəˌrɛnʃɪˈælɪtɪ) noun
preferentially, adverb
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for preferential

1805, from Medieval Latin preferentia, from Latin praeferre (see prefer) + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for preferential

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for preferential

Scrabble Words With Friends