Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

play favourites

To give preferable treatment to someone or something one likes or favours more than others. Primarily heard in UK. The teacher is always playing favourites in class, letting the students she likes go home a little bit earlier than the rest. As an MP, I promise not to play favourites with our public services.
See also: play

favorite son

A well-known person, especially a politician, who is supported and celebrated by people in his hometown. Ray was the favorite son of his hometown of Twin Falls, Idaho.
See also: favorite, son

favorite daughter

A well-known person, especially a politician, who is supported and celebrated by people in her hometown. Rose was clearly the favorite daughter of her hometown of Bozeman, Montana.
See also: daughter, favorite

odds-on favorite

the most popular choice of a wager. Fred is the odds-on favorite for president of the board of trustees.
See also: favorite

favorite son

A person valued by his or her hometown or organization for his or her achievements, usually political, as in Mary hoped they would treat her as a favorite son and nominate her for state senator. This term was originally employed for a candidate nominated for office by his own locality. Today this usage may ignore gender, as in the example. [c. 1780]
See also: favorite, son

play favourites

show favouritism towards someone or something. chiefly North American
See also: play
References in classic literature ?
Some of the damsels mounted on pillions behind their favorite swains, and their light-hearted laughter, mingling with the clatter of hoofs, echoed along the silent woodlands, sounding fainter and fainter, until they gradually died away, --and the late scene of noise and frolic was all silent and deserted.
The old country wives, however, who are the best judges of these matters, maintain to this day that Ichabod was spirited away by supernatural means; and it is a favorite story often told about the neighborhood round the winter evening fire.
They still had hopes that the trainer had for some reason taken out the horse for early exercise, but on ascending the knoll near the house, from which all the neighboring moors were visible, they not only could see no signs of the missing favorite, but they perceived something which warned them that they were in the presence of a tragedy.
An examination of his betting-book shows that bets to the amount of five thousand pounds had been registered by him against the favorite.
He had a great interest in the disappearance of the favorite.
As Desborough, their horse, was second in the betting, they had an interest in the disappearance of the favorite.
How he went out to it, and his astonishment at recognizing, from the white forehead which has given the favorite its name, that chance had put in his power the only horse which could beat the one upon which he had put his money.
He talks about "two to one against the favorite," refers to actresses as "Little Emmy" and "Kate" and "Baby," and murmurs about his "losses at cards the other night" in a style implying that thousands have been squandered, though, to do him justice, the actual amount is most probably one-and-twopence.
He took off the matelpiece, where he had put it yesterday, a little box of sweets, and gave her two, picking out her favorites, a chocolate and a fondant.
Favorite solo: You Haven't Done Nothin' choreographed by Mia Michaels
In contrast, Lerma positioned himself between Philip III and his kingdom, continually placing himself in the foreground and justifying his actions by maintaining that the king's private friend and favorite was, and rightly should be, the king's public representative.
Nearly 35 percent point to vegetables as their favorite food to prepare.
Favorite Album - The 20/20 Experience (Justin Timberlake)
It took top honors in 10 categories including Favorite Hotel Overall, Favorite Hotel Lobby, Favorite Hotel Staff and Favorite Casino Overall.
Green Day won Favorite Band and Favorite Song (for ``Wake Me Up When September's Over'').