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 (prĕf′ər-əns, prĕf′rəns)
a. The selecting of someone or something over another or others: has a decided preference for travel by train.
b. The right or chance to make a choice: The program offers you the preference to use the mouse or function keys.
c. Someone or something so chosen or preferred: What are your musical preferences? See Synonyms at choice.
2. The state of being preferred; favor over others: applicants who received preference for the job.
3. Law
a. A priority of payment given to one or more creditors by an insolvent debtor.
b. The right of a creditor to priority of payment.
c. The presentation of a case as ready for consideration.
d. The formal presentation of criminal charges against someone.
4. The granting of precedence or advantage to one country or group of countries in levying duties or in other matters of international trade.

[Middle English preferraunce, preferment, from Old French preference, from preferer, to prefer; see prefer.]


(ˈprɛfərəns; ˈprɛfrəns)
1. the act of preferring
2. something or someone preferred
3. (Law) law
a. the settling of the claims of one or more creditors before or to the exclusion of those of the others
b. a prior right to payment, as of a dividend or share in the assets of a company in the event of liquidation
4. (Commerce) commerce the granting of favour or precedence to particular foreign countries, as by levying differential tariffs


(ˈprɛf ər əns, ˈprɛf rəns)

1. the act of preferring.
2. the state of being preferred.
3. something preferred; choice; selection: Her preference is vanilla.
4. a practical advantage given to one over others.
5. a prior right or claim, as to payment.
6. the favoring of one country over others in international trade.
[1595–1605; < Medieval Latin]




[one’s] cup of tea Suited to one’s interests, talents, or taste; that which hits the spot, does the trick, or suits one’s fancy.

Broadway by night seemed to be my cup of tea entirely. (Noel Coward, Present Indicative, 1937)

A logical extension of this sense is the British cup of tea meaning ‘one’s fate or destiny.’ However, if something is neither suited to one’s interest, nor a matter of destiny, it may well be another or different cup of tea; in other words, something of an altogether different kind.

A Fred racked with ideals, and in the grip of Federal Union, was quite a different cup of tea from the old, happy-go-lucky Fred. (Nancy Mitford, Pigeon Pie, 1940)

a man of my kidney See SIMILARITY.

up one’s alley Suited to one’s natural capabilities or interests; one’s concern or business; where one feels at home; sometimes down one’s alley. In or up one’s street has the same meaning, although the exact origin of either expression is anybody’s guess. Both are cited as early as 1929.

Fun’s fun, but box-fighting’s your trick and anything else is out of your alley. (Witwer, Yes Man’s Land, 1929)
A great many of the books published today are, as the saying is, right up her street. (Publisher’s Weekly, December 21, 1929)

Up one’s alley is currently the more common American expression; up one’s street is more frequently heard in Britain.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.preference - a strong likingpreference - a strong liking; "my own preference is for good literature"; "the Irish have a penchant for blarney"
liking - a feeling of pleasure and enjoyment; "I've always had a liking for reading"; "she developed a liking for gin"
acquired taste - a preference that is only acquired after considerable experience; "martinis are an acquired taste"
weakness - a penchant for something even though it might not be good for you; "he has a weakness for chocolate"
2.preference - a predisposition in favor of something; "a predilection for expensive cars"; "his sexual preferences"; "showed a Marxist orientation"
predisposition - an inclination beforehand to interpret statements in a particular way
3.preference - the right or chance to choose; "given my druthers, I'd eat cake"
alternative, option, choice - one of a number of things from which only one can be chosen; "what option did I have?"; "there no other alternative"; "my only choice is to refuse"
wish - the particular preference that you have; "it was his last wish"; "they should respect the wishes of the people"
4.preference - grant of favor or advantage to one over another (especially to a country or countries in matters of international trade, such as levying duties)
advantage, vantage - the quality of having a superior or more favorable position; "the experience gave him the advantage over me"


1. liking, wish, taste, desire, bag (slang), leaning, bent, bias, cup of tea (informal), inclination, penchant, fondness, predisposition, predilection, proclivity, partiality Whatever your preference, we have a product to suit you.
2. first choice, choice, favourite, election, pick, option, selection, top of the list, fave (informal) He enjoys all styles of music, but his preference is opera.
3. priority, first place, precedence, advantage, favouritism, pride of place, favoured treatment Candidates with the right qualifications should be given preference.
in preference to rather than, instead of, in place of, in lieu of Sea salt should be used in preference to table salt.


1. The act of choosing:
2. Favorable or preferential bias:
3. A liking for something:
elõnyben részesítés
òaî aî taka e-î/e-n fram yfir
sự thích hơn


A. N
1. (= greater liking or favour) → preferencia f
he expressed a preference for red winemostró su preferencia por el vino tinto
she has a preference for older menprefiere a or tiene preferencia por los hombres maduros
for preferencede preferencia
in preference to sthantes que algo, más que algo
2. (= thing preferred) what is your preference?¿qué prefieres?
I have no preferenceno tengo preferencia
3. (= priority) to give preference to sth/sbdar prioridad a algo/algn
to give sth preference over sth elseanteponer algo a otra cosa
B. CPD preference share N (Fin) → acción f preferente, acción f privilegiada


[ˈprɛfərəns] n
(= liking) → préférence f
a preference for sth → une préférence pour qch
to have a preference for sth → avoir une préférence pour qch
in preference to sth → de préférence à qch
(= priority) → préférence f
to give preference to sb → accorder sa préférence à qn
preference will be given to ... → une préférence sera accordée à ...preference shares npl (British)actions fpl privilégiées


(= greater liking)Vorliebe f; for preferencelieber; to have a preference for somethingeine Vorliebe für etw haben, etw bevorzugen; my preference is for country lifeich ziehe das Leben auf dem Land vor; I drink coffee in preference to teaich trinke lieber Kaffee als Tee
(= thing preferred) what is your preference?was wäre Ihnen am liebsten?; just state your preferencenennen Sie einfach Ihre Wünsche; I have no preferencemir ist das eigentlich gleich; what are your preferences as regards food?was essen Sie am liebsten?
(= greater favour)Vorzug m; to show preference for somebodyjdn bevorzugen; to give preference to somebody/somethingjdn/etw bevorzugen, jdm/etw den Vorzug geben (over gegenüber); to give certain imports preferenceVorzugs- or Präferenzzölle auf bestimmte Einfuhrartikel gewähren


[ˈprɛfrəns] npreferenza
my preference is for ..., I have a preference for ... → preferisco...
in preference to sth → piuttosto che qc
to give preference to sb/sth → dare la preferenza a qn/qc


(priˈfəː) past tense, past participle preˈferred verb
to like better. Which do you prefer – tea or coffee?; I prefer reading to watching television; She would prefer to come with you rather than stay here.
ˈpreferable (ˈpre-) adjective
more desirable. Is it preferable to write or make a telephone call?
ˈpreferably adverb
ˈpreference (ˈpre-) noun
(a) choice of, or (a) liking for, one thing rather than another. He likes most music but he has a preference for classical music.

I prefer apples to (not than) oranges.
preferable, adjective, is spelt with -r-.
preference, noun, is spelt with -r-.
preferred and preferring are spelt with -rr-.


تَفْضِيل preference præference Vorzug προτίμηση preferencia mieltymys préférence sklonost preferenza 好み 선호도 voorkeur preferanse preferencja preferência предпочтение preferens การชอบมากกว่า tercih sự thích hơn 偏爱


n. preferencia.
References in classic literature ?
Why, I believe it is natur' to give a preference to one's own quarrels before those of strangers.
These hours of drowsihead were the season of the old gentlewoman's attendance on her brother, while Phoebe took charge of the shop; an arrangement which the public speedily understood, and evinced their decided preference of the younger shopwoman by the multiplicity of their calls during her administration of affairs.
The minister -- for, save the long-sought regards of woman, nothing is sweeter than these marks of childish preference, accorded spontaneously by a spiritual instinct, and therefore seeming to imply in us something truly worthy to be loved -- the minister looked round, laid his hand on the child's head, hesitated an instant, and then kissed her brow.
To gaze into the depths of blue of the child's eyes and pronounce their loveliness a trick of premature cunning was to be guilty of a cynicism in preference to which I naturally preferred to abjure my judgment and, so far as might be, my agitation.
At each end of the fireplace sat a long-legged gentleman, with his chair tipped back, his hat on his head, and the heels of his muddy boots reposing sublimely on the mantel-piece,--a position, we will inform our readers, decidedly favorable to the turn of reflection incident to western taverns, where travellers exhibit a decided preference for this particular mode of elevating their understandings.
After that, I was just as much at home in that century as I could have been in any other; and as for preference, I wouldn't have traded it for the twentieth.
Woodhouse was persuaded to think it a possible thing in preference to a division of the party.
In my heart I feel little--scarcely any doubt of his preference.
And, Miss Eyre, so much was I flattered by this preference of the Gallic sylph for her British gnome, that I installed her in an hotel; gave her a complete establishment of servants, a carriage, cashmeres, diamonds, dentelles, &c.
Her brother, who loved her tenderly, was appalled at this fantastic preference.
Captain curled up near Dickon, who sat on the hearth-rug from preference.
But the reason she added next, for her flattering preference of myself, was less to my taste.