tr.v. pre·ferred, pre·fer·ring, pre·fers
1. To choose or be in the habit of choosing as more desirable or as having more value: prefers coffee to tea.
a. To give priority or precedence to (a creditor).
b. To present (a charge) against a defendant before a court: prefer an indictment.
c. To present (a case) to a court as ready for consideration: prefer the case for trial.
3. Archaic To recommend for advancement or appointment; promote.
[Middle English preferren, from Old French preferer, from Latin praeferre : prae-, pre- + ferre, to carry; see bher-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.