prefer Definition

  • 1to like, choose, or want one thing rather than another
  • 2to give priority or precedence to one thing over another

Using prefer: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "prefer" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I prefer coffee to tea.

  • Example

    She prefers to work alone.

  • Example

    He prefers classical music over pop music.

  • Example

    We prefer to stay at home on weekends.

prefer Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for prefer

Antonyms for prefer

Idioms Using prefer

  • to enjoy being alone rather than spending time with other people


    She prefers her own company and rarely goes out with friends.

  • to choose something familiar, even if it is not ideal, over something unfamiliar and potentially worse


    I know this job isn't great, but I prefer the devil I know to the devil I don't.

  • prefer someone/something to someone/something else

    to like or want someone or something more than someone or something else


    I prefer chocolate ice cream to vanilla ice cream.

Phrases with prefer

  • the act of giving someone or something an advantage over others


    The company was accused of giving preferential treatment to certain employees.

  • a system of voting in which voters rank candidates in order of preference


    The Australian federal election uses a preferential voting system.

  • an agreement between countries to reduce or eliminate tariffs on certain goods traded between them


    The United States has preferential trade agreements with several countries in Latin America.

Origins of prefer

from Old French 'preferer', from Latin 'praeferre', meaning 'to carry in front'


Summary: prefer in Brief

The verb 'prefer' [prəˈfər] means to choose or like one thing over another, or to give priority to one thing over another. It can be used in various contexts, such as personal preferences, work, or politics. Examples include 'I prefer coffee to tea,' 'She prefers to work alone,' and 'We prefer to stay at home on weekends.' Idioms like 'prefer one's own company' and 'prefer the devil you know to the devil you don't' add nuances to the meaning.

How do native speakers use this expression?