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.]