noun, verb (used with object) Chiefly British.

  1. favor.


  1. something done or granted out of goodwill, rather than from justice or for remuneration; a kind act: to ask a favor.
  2. friendly or well-disposed regard; goodwill: to win the favor of the king.
  3. the state of being approved or held in regard: to be in favor at court; styles that are now in favor.
  4. excessive kindness or unfair partiality; preferential treatment: to treat some people with favor and others with neglect.
  5. a gift bestowed as a token of goodwill, kind regard, love, etc., as formerly upon a knight by his lady.
  6. a ribbon, badge, etc., worn in evidence of goodwill or loyalty, as by an adherent of a political party.
  7. a small gift or decorative or festive item, as a noisemaker or paper hat, often distributed to guests at a party.
  8. Usually favors. sexual intimacy, especially as permitted by a woman.
  9. Archaic. a letter, especially a commercial one.

verb (used with object)

  1. to regard with favor: to favor an enterprise.
  2. to prefer; treat with partiality: The father favored his younger son.
  3. to show favor to; oblige: The king favored him with an audience.
  4. to be favorable to; facilitate: The wind favored their journey.
  5. to deal with, treat, or use gently: to favor a lame leg.
  6. to aid or support: He favored his party’s cause with ample funds.
  7. to bear a physical resemblance to; resemble: to favor one’s father’s side of the family.

  1. find favor with, to gain the favor of; be liked by: The play found favor with the opening-night audience.
  2. in favor of,
    1. on the side of; in support of: to be in favor of reduced taxation.
    2. to the advantage of.
    3. (of a check, draft, etc.) payable to: Make out your checks in favor of the corporation.
  3. in one’s favor, to one’s credit or advantage: All the comments were in your favor.
  4. out of favor, no longer liked or approved; no longer popular or fashionable: He’s out of favor with the president and may soon be fired.


  1. an approving attitude; good will
  2. an act performed out of good will, generosity, or mercy
  3. prejudice and partiality; favouritism
  4. a condition of being regarded with approval or good will (esp in the phrases in favour, out of favour)
  5. archaic leave; permission
  6. a token of love, goodwill, etc
  7. a small gift or toy given to a guest at a party
  8. history a badge or ribbon worn or given to indicate loyalty, often bestowed on a knight by a lady
  9. obsolete, mainly British a communication, esp a business letter
  10. archaic appearance
  11. find favour with to be approved of by someone
  12. in favour of
    1. approving
    2. to the benefit of
    3. (of a cheque, etc) made out to
    4. in order to show preference forI rejected him in favour of George

verb (tr)

  1. to regard with especial kindness or approval
  2. to treat with partiality or favouritism
  3. to support; advocate
  4. to perform a favour for; oblige
  5. to help; facilitate
  6. informal to resemblehe favours his father
  7. to wear habituallyshe favours red
  8. to treat gingerly or with tenderness; sparea footballer favouring an injured leg

chiefly British English spelling of favor (q.v.); for spelling, see -or. Related: Favourite; favouritism.


c.1300, “attractiveness, charm,” from Old French favor (13c., Modern French faveur) “favor, approval, partiality,” from Latin favorem (nominative favor) “good will, inclination, partiality, support,” coined by Cicero from stem of favere “to show kindness to,” from PIE *ghow-e- “to honor, revere, worship.” Meaning “act of kindness” is from late 14c. Meaning “thing given as a mark of favor” is from 1580s. Phrase in favor of recorded from 1560s.


“to regard with favor, indulge, treat with partiality,” mid-14c., from Old French favorer, from favor (see favor (n.)). Related: Favored; favoring.

see curry favor; in favor of; in favor with; in one’s favor; out of favor; return the compliment (favor).

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