Hypertext Webster Gateway: "prefer"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Prefer \Pre*fer"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Preferred}; p. pr. & vb.
n. {Preferring}.] [F. pr['e]f['e]rer, L. praeferre; prae
before + ferre to bear or carry. See 1st {Bear}.]
1. 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 C[ae]sar. --Shak.

Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high.

2. To go before, or be before, in estimation; to outrank; to
surpass. [Obs.] ``Though maidenhood prefer bigamy.''

3. 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. --Shak.

4. 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. --Ps.
cxxxvii. 6.

Preferred an infamous peace before a most just war.

{Preferred stock}, stock which takes a dividend before other
capital stock; -- called also {preference stock} and
{preferential stock}.

Syn: To choose; elect. See {Choose}.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

v 1: like better; value more highly; "Some people prefer camping
to staying in hotels"; "We prefer sleeping outside"
2: select as an alternative; choose instead; prefer as an
alternative; "I always choose the fish over the meat
courses in this restaurant"; "She opted for the job on the
East coast" [syn: {choose}, {opt}]
3: promote over another [syn: {favor}, {favour}]
4: give preference to one creditor over another; in law

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