American Dictionary of the English Language

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PREFER', verb transitive [Latin proefero; proe, before, and fero, to bear or carry.]

1. Literally, to bear or carry in advance, in the mind, affections or choice; hence, to regard more than another; to honor or esteem above another.

It is sometimes followed by above, before, or to.

If I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Psalms 137:6.

He that cometh after me, is preferred before me. John 1:1.

2. To advance, as to an office or dignity; to raise; to exalt; as, to prefer one to a bishopric; to prefer an officer to the rank of general.

3. To offer; to present; to exhibit; usually with solemnity, or to a public body. It is our privilege to enjoy the right of preferring petitions to rulers for redress of wrongs.

My vows and prayers to thee preferred.

PREFER a bill against all kings and parliaments since the conquest.

4. To offer or present ceremoniously, or in ordinary familiar language.

He spake, and to her hand preferr'd the bowl.

[This is allowable, at least in poetry, though not usual.]