|Origin:||préférer, from Latin praeferre 'to put in front, prefer'|
pre‧fer S2 W2 past tense and past participle preferred, present participle preferring [transitive not in progressive]
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.
We prefer that our teachers have a degree in early childhood education.
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.
used when telling someone politely not to do something:
I'd prefer it if you didn't smoke in front of the children.
3 British English lawSCL
to make an official statement that someone has done something illegal