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  • WordNet 3.6
    • v prefer select as an alternative over another "I always choose the fish over the meat courses in this restaurant","She opted for the job on the East coast"
    • v prefer like better; value more highly "Some people prefer camping to staying in hotels","We prefer sleeping outside"
    • v prefer promote over another "he favors his second daughter"
    • v prefer give preference to one creditor over another
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Approximately 71% of American chocolate eaters prefer to eat milk chocolate
    • Prefer To carry or bring (something) forward, or before one; hence, to bring for consideration, acceptance, judgment, etc.; to offer; to present; to proffer; to address; -- said especially of a request, prayer, petition, claim, charge, etc. "He spake, and to her hand preferred the bowl.""Presently prefer his suit to Cæsar.""Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high."
    • Prefer To cause to go before; hence, to advance before others, as to an office or dignity; to raise; to exalt; to promote; as, to prefer an officer to the rank of general. "I would prefer him to a better place."
    • Prefer To go before, or be before, in estimation; to outrank; to surpass. "Though maidenhood prefer bigamy."
    • Prefer To set above or before something else in estimation, favor, or liking; to regard or honor before another; to hold in greater favor; to choose rather; -- often followed by to before, or above. "If I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.""Preferred an infamous peace before a most just war."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Mosquitoes prefer children over adults
    • prefer To bring or set before; present; proffer; offer.
    • prefer To offer for consideration or decision; set forth; present in a conventional or formal manner, as a suit, prayer, or accusation.
    • prefer To bring into notice or favor; recommend.
    • prefer To bring forward or advance in dignity or office; raise; exalt.
    • prefer To set before other things in estimation; hold in greater liking or esteem; choose; incline more toward.
    • prefer Specifically, in law, to give a preference to. See preference, 2.
    • prefer To outrank; be reckoned preferable to.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: According to studies, men prefer to have white bedrooms and women prefer to have blue bedrooms
    • v.t Prefer prē-fėr′ to esteem above another: to regard or hold in higher estimation: to choose or select before others: to promote: to exalt: to offer or present, as a request: to bring forward for consideration: to place in advance
    • pr.p Prefer prefer′ring; pa.t. and pa.p. preferred′
    • ***


  • Abraham Lincoln
    “The Lord prefers common looking people. That is why he made so many of them.”
  • Rudyard Kipling
    “I always prefer to believe the best of everybody -- it saves so much trouble.”
  • E. M. Cioran
    E. M. Cioran
    “To want fame is to prefer dying scorned than forgotten.”
  • Johann G. Seume
    Johann G. Seume
    “People should always have something which they prefer to life.”
  • Helen Rowland
    “No man can understand why a woman shouldn't prefer a good reputation to a good time.”
  • Michael Edwardes
    Michael Edwardes
    “Good men prefer to be accountable.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. préférer, L. praeferre,; prae, before + ferre, to bear or carry. See 1st Bear


In literature:

Winn was at his worst when questioned as to his intentions; he preferred to let them explode like fire-crackers.
"The Dark Tower" by Phyllis Bottome
To his ultramontane tone they would have preferred him to blaspheme in coarse Saxon.
"My Recollections of Lord Byron" by Teresa Guiccioli
They are introduced in preference to extending the length of the channels.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
Perhaps mother would prefer to keep it a secret.
"Luke Walton" by Horatio Alger
Owen was afraid of the strangers, and preferred Miss Wells.
"Hopes and Fears scenes from the life of a spinster" by Charlotte M. Yonge
Distilled water, when obtainable, is preferable to even rain water.
"The Ladies Book of Useful Information" by Anonymous
The written order is preferable and is used whenever time permits.
"Manual of Military Training" by James A. Moss
Wherever possible the open fireplace is to be preferred to the stove for the reason that it very thoroughly ventilates the room.
"Health on the Farm" by H. F. Harris
France preferred a number of separate treaties so as to keep the British interest in Europe at a minimum.
"The Political History of England - Vol XI" by George Brodrick
However occasions may arise when consideration in the reverse order is preferable.
"Sound Military Decision" by U.s. Naval War College
If you prefer to be giddy and foolish, let those take the responsibility who have encouraged you to become so.
"A Romantic Young Lady" by Robert Grant
An old, torn, or soiled flag should not be thrown away, but should be destroyed, preferably by burning.
"Scouting For Girls, Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts" by Girl Scouts
The writer wonders that any man should prefer coffee to canary, and refers to the days of Beaumont, Fletcher, and Ben Jonson.
"All About Coffee" by William H. Ukers
He had, I have been told, an offer of a partnership in the firm, but preferred to set up for himself.
"The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I." by Sir Leslie Stephen
Learn to deny yourself and prefer others.
"Social Life" by Maud C. Cooke
It prefers poor soil, and is more abundant where poplar and hemlock grow.
"The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise" by M. E. Hard
Many scout masters prefer to order uniforms and other supplies direct from National Headquarters.
"Boy Scouts Handbook" by Boy Scouts of America
When meditating on his poems he walks up and down the room, but gives the open air the preference.
"Methods of Authors" by Hugo Erichsen
This not having been done, we are driven on the other hypothesis, to which, on the whole, we give the preference.
"Punch - Volume 25 (Jul-Dec 1853)" by Various
Trim a slice of fat from the back for lard, take off the "short ribs," and, if preferred, remove the long ribs from the whole piece.
"Home Pork Making" by A. W. Fulton

In poetry:

How did her tender heart rejoice,
What prayers she then preferred,
That she might with her tuneful voice,
Delight the brooding bird.
"The Halcyon" by William Hayley
True friendship is of greater worth
Than words, though they were solid gold.
To all the glittering gems of earth
I it prefer, a thousandfold.
"Friendship" by Joseph Horatio Chant
In grief's deep solitude, we turn
To Thee our God! and thence prefer
The prayers of those who, doomed to mourn,
Seek comfort from the Comforter.
"Loss of Friends" by John Bowring
To me the sun is more delightful far,
And all fair days much fairer are,
But few, ah wondrous few, there be
Who do not gold prefer, O goddess, even to thee.
"Hymn. To Light" by Abraham Cowley
If to what I said but now
You had listened, I believe
You would have preferred to leave
Still unspoken love's vain vow.
This you would yourself allow.
"The Two Lovers Of Heaven: Chrysanthus And Daria - Act I" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
He always took the Bible for his guide,
And he liked little boys to walk by his side;
He preferred their company more so than men,
Because he knew there was less guile in them.
"General Gordon, the Hero of Khartoum" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

If Al Borges had his preference, Michigan would be running more of a pro-style offense.
And while some still drink no-name water, many prefer Evian or Poland Springs.
This year we'll start rewarding you for voting by giving you 750 VIP Bonus Points for picking who's Cover you prefer.
At the end of a long meal, many diners enjoy a stroll, while others prefer to collapse in place for a nap and wake up later to the smell of coffee.
As Lowriders, we all have our preferences when it comes to our favorite cars to build.
Punta is the sirloin tip, which the Venezuelans seem to prefer.
Resuscitation directives should be a sign of patient's preference.
It's just one of those regional preferences like East Coast carpenters using sidewinders and West Coast carpenters using worm-drives.
The JF girls soccer team may change its TV viewing preference from ESPNU to the Weather Channel.
Anchor-reporter Melissa McCrady doesn't call attention to her dietary preference much on the air.
The Wabasha County Herald reports an apparent two-thirds vote of the majority shareholders is being challenged by one of the preferred shareholders.
But he suspects he survived the Golden Dragon Massacre, a shooting at a Chinatown restaurant that left five dead and about a dozen people injured, because of seating preference.
Chief Administrative Officer seeks preferred vendors.
Beer enthusiasts, including me, like to make generalized statements about their beer preferences.
Their preference is poop — and the smellier the better — researchers find.

In science:

Assume that the underlying theory is based on an n-component field without preferred directions, i.e. the theory is invariant under O(n) transformations of the fields.
Random Matrix Theory and Chiral Symmetry in QCD
Additional samples, and preferable over larger areas, are still needed.
EROs in the EIS Fields. I: The AXAF (Chandra) Deep Field
Since, however, in general pseudo-Riemannian space-time no preferred coordinates of this type exist, this manifold seems to present an unfriendly environment for canonical quantization.
Quantum Theory within the Framework of General Relativity
The reason we prefer the present complex is that it works better for pairing with K -theory.
Equivariant Cyclic Cohomology of H-Algebras
They prefer to make the measurement in U which is most sensitive to young clusters.
The Formation of Star Clusters
However, the decrease in the redshift at equality causes positive curvature models to be preferred.
CMB Constraints on a Baryonic Dark Matter-Dominated Universe
These small clusters are present in large system sizes, but do not play a role in the probability of first excitation, since the energy minimization prefers extensive domains.
Susceptibility and Percolation in 2D Random Field Ising Magnets
Structure in the neutrino mass matrix is clearly preferred over random matrices.
Comment on: Neutrino Mass Anarchy
The author’s rational for allowing it was that it is preferable to retain all the power present in the initial density fluctuation field.
Multiscale Gaussian Random Fields for Cosmological Simulations
We introduce and simulate the random walk that adapts move strategies according to local node preferences on a directed graph.
Access time of an adaptive random walk on the world-wide Web
We introduce a random walker which copies its move strategies from the local node linking preferences.
Access time of an adaptive random walk on the world-wide Web
Here we assume that the weights are correlated with the linking preferences in Eq. (2) of the visited node.
Access time of an adaptive random walk on the world-wide Web
First, new edges are introduced between randomly chosen pairs of vertices, with no preference given to high degree vertices.
Are randomly grown graphs really random?
The s-parameterization is preferred by Liu and Mashhoon .
Null Geodesics in Five Dimensional Manifolds
This is reasonable since a number state should not have a preferred phase.
The quantum phase problem: steps toward a resolution