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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce preferential (audio)

Dictionary definition of preferential

Giving or showing preference or favoritism to a particular person, group, thing, or circumstance over others.
"He negotiated a deal with the supplier to get preferential rates for his company."

Detailed meaning of preferential

It implies a bias or inclination towards a specific choice, treatment, or consideration based on personal preference, privilege, or advantage. When something is described as preferential, it indicates that it is given special or preferential treatment in comparison to alternatives. This can manifest in various contexts, such as preferential treatment in employment, preferential access to resources, or preferential treatment in decision-making processes. Preferential treatment often arises due to factors such as social status, relationships, qualifications, or personal affiliations, and it can impact the fairness and equality of opportunities or outcomes. However, it is important to note that preferential treatment is not always negative or unjust, as certain circumstances may justify it for the sake of achieving a specific objective or addressing historical disadvantages.

Example sentences containing preferential

1. She received preferential treatment at the hotel because she was a regular customer.
2. The airline offers preferential seating to its premium members.
3. The university has a policy of giving preferential admission to students with exceptional talents.
4. The company’s preferential hiring practices have been criticized by some as being unfair.
5. The loyalty program entitles members to preferential services and discounts.
6. The trade agreement between the two countries includes preferential tariffs for certain goods.

History and etymology of preferential

The adjective 'preferential' derives its etymology from the Latin word 'preferentia,' which is a combination of 'prae,' meaning 'before,' and 'ferentia,' derived from 'ferre,' meaning 'to bear' or 'to carry.' In Latin, 'preferentia' conveyed the idea of carrying something before or placing it in a position of favor or priority. As the term evolved through Old French and into Middle English, it became 'preferential,' retaining its core meaning of giving or showing preference or favoritism to a particular person, group, thing, or circumstance over others. The etymology of 'preferential' underscores its historical association with the act of placing something before or above others, emphasizing the notion of favoring one choice or option over competing alternatives.

Quiz: Find the meaning of preferential

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Further usage examples of preferential

1. The employees with seniority are given preferential parking spots near the entrance.
2. The bank offers preferential loan rates to customers who open a savings account.
3. The hospital gives preferential care to critical patients.
4. The celebrity was given preferential access to the exclusive event.
5. As a token of appreciation, the club offered its founding members preferential benefits.
6. The software comes with preferential support for enterprise customers.
7. He was accused of using his position for preferential allocation of funds to his friends.
8. The scholarship program has a preferential selection process for applicants from low-income backgrounds.
9. The preferential treatment of VIPs caused frustration.
10. Employees were upset about preferential promotions.
11. The club offered preferential pricing to members.
12. His preferential seating was a perk of his job.
13. The manager denied allegations of preferential treatment.
14. The preferential treatment of athletes raised eyebrows.
15. We need to eliminate preferential hiring practices.
16. The preferential voting system allows for more choices.
17. The preferential access pass got us in early.
18. Critics accused the government of preferential policies.
19. The preferential parking spaces were empty.
20. The preferential treatment of the elite angered many.
21. The company offered preferential benefits to seniors.
22. She received preferential treatment due to her status.
23. The preferential treatment of celebrities is common.
24. We should strive for a preferential outcome for all.
25. The preferential allocation of resources caused disputes.
26. Preferential treatment based on wealth is unfair.
27. The preferential treatment of children was evident.
28. Equal opportunities eliminate preferential bias.



favored, unbiased, equal, impartial


Prefix pre-, SAT 4 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Advantageous and Beneficial, Decision and Discretion

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