pre·fer /pri-'fər/ vt pre·ferred, pre·fer·ring1: to give (a creditor or debt) priority or preferenceany preferred charges such as child support or alimony — In re Smiley, 427 P.2d 179 (1967)2: to bring forward for determination; esp: to bring (a charge) against someonethe various means by which a grand jury might prefer charges — State v. Byrd, 399 S.E.2d 267 (1990)
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster. 1996.
adopt, advance, anteponere, approve, be fond of, be partial to, bring forward, choose, cling to, dignify, elect, elevate, embrace, espouse, fancy, favor, fix upon, further, graduate, grant favors to, have a fancy for, indulge one's fancy, lean toward, like better, move up, patronize, pick, pick out, play favorites, praeoptare, praeponere, prize, promote, pull strings for, put forward, raise, recommend, sanction, select, set above others, show preference, single out, take a fancy to, take to, tend, think better, treat with partiality, value
choose, discriminate (treat differently), favor, proffer, promote (advance), relish, screen (select), select
Burton's Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006
v.(1) To place before others; to treat one person better than another; to like one thing better than another.(2) To prosecute; to submit a charge, such as a criminal charge; to bring an indictment.
The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008.