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From prefer +‎ -ment.



preferment (countable and uncountable, plural preferments)

  1. (now historical) Prior claim (on payment, or on purchasing something); the first rights to obtain a particular payment or product. [from 15th c.]
  2. (obsolete) The fact of being pushed or advanced to a more favourable situation; furtherance, promotion (of a candidate, action, undertaking etc.). [15th-17th c.]
  3. Advancement to a higher position or office; promotion. [from 15th c.]
  4. A position (especially in the Church of England) that provides profit or prestige. [from 16th c.]
    • 1792, Anthony à Wood, The History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford: In Two Books[1], volume 1, Oxford: John Gutch, OCLC 642441055, page 661:
      One hall called Civil Law Hall or School, flouriſhed about this time (though in its buildings decayed) by the care of the learned and judicious Dr. Will. Warham Principal or Moderator thereof; which he leaving this year (having before had ſeveral Deputies therein) becauſe of his preferment to the ſee of London, became void for ſome time. The year following the ſaid Warham was tranſlated to Canterbury []
  5. (now rare) The fact of preferring something; preference. [from 16th c.]