Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: French
Origin: préférer, from Latin praeferre 'to put in front, prefer'

prefer

verb
     
pre‧fer S2 W2 past tense and past participle preferred, present participle preferring [transitive not in progressive]
1 to like someone or something more than someone or something else, so that you would choose it if you could [↪ preference]:
This type of owl prefers a desert habitat.
She prefers her coffee black.
the government's preferred option
prefer somebody/something to somebody/something
a child that prefers his imaginary world to reality
Employees said they would prefer more flexible working hours.
prefer to do something
I prefer to wear clothes made of natural fibers.
Or, if you prefer, you can email us.
prefer doing something
Chantal prefers travelling by train.
prefer that
We prefer that our teachers have a degree in early childhood education.
2

I would prefer it if

spoken
a) used to say that you wish a situation was different:
Sales have gone down, and obviously we'd prefer it if that didn't happen.
b) used when telling someone politely not to do something:
I'd prefer it if you didn't smoke in front of the children.
3

prefer charges

British English lawSCL to make an official statement that someone has done something illegal

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