Meaning of “preference” in the English Dictionary

"preference" in English

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preferencenoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈpref.ər.əns/ us /ˈpref.ər.əns/

B2 the fact that you like something or someone more than another thing or person:

Her preference is for comfortable rather than stylish clothes.
I have a preference for sweet food over spicy.
Choosing furniture is largely a matter of personal preference.
It would be wrong to discriminate against a candidate because of their sexual preference (= the sex of the people they are sexually attracted to).

an advantage that is given to a person or a group of people:

We give preference to those who have worked with us for a long time.
in preference to sth

If you choose one thing in preference to another thing, you choose it because you like or want it more than the other thing:

He studied chemistry in preference to physics at university.

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(Definition of “preference” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"preference" in American English

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preferencenoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈpref·ər·əns/

A preference is also an advantage given to someone:

[ U ] The city gives preference to job applicants who live there.

(Definition of “preference” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"preference" in Business English

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uk /ˈprefərəns/ us

[ C or U ] the fact of liking or wanting one thing more than another:

preference for sth These investors had a preference for securities rather than bank deposits.
More flexibility will enable managers to redesign their floors quickly according to customer preferences.
Buying a car is a matter of personal preference.

[ U ] an advantage or better treatment that is given to a person or a group of people:

give preference to sb/sth This small-business program gives preference to minority- and women-owned companies.


uk /ˈprefərəns/ us FINANCE, STOCK MARKET

used to describe a company's shares that have the right to fixed dividends (= payments from profits) before the dividends on its ordinary shares are calculated and paid in a particular period, or in periods when dividends on these shares are not paid at all:

Nokia is to increase its capital with about $100 million of new preference stock.

(Definition of “preference” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)