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To make a formal complaint of wrongdoing or mistreatment against another person. A: "Is it true that Greg preferred charges against you?" B: "Yes, but his claim is completely false! I've never done anything to him!" I really hope our neighbors don't prefer charges against us—I never would have cut down that tree if I had known it was on their property!
prefer charges against (one)
To file an official legal charge against one; to accuse one of some crime. Used in formal legal language. The woman was given the chance to prefer charges against the man, but she declined. The state will be preferring charges against the company for treason.
prefer (someone or something) to (someone or something else)
To choose, or tend to choose, someone or something as more desirable or valuable than someone or something else. I usually prefer tea to coffee, but I need something a little stronger this morning. I don't know why Amy prefers Tom to Steve—Tom is such a jerk!
had (just) as soon do somethingand would (just) as soon do something
prefer to do something else; to be content to do something. (The would or had is usually expressed as the contraction 'd.) They want me to go into town. I'd as soon stay home. If you're cooking stew tonight, we'd as soon eat somewhere else. I would just as soon stay home as pay to go to see a bad movie.
See also: soon
prefer someone or something to someone (or something else)
to rank the desirability of someone or something over someone or something else. For the post of treasurer, I prefer Don to Jill. I prefer missing a meal to Jill's cooking.
See also: prefer
prefer something against someone
to file legal charges against someone [with the police]; to file a complaint or a charge against someone. The neighbors preferred charges against the driver of the car who ruined their lawns. I will not prefer charges against the driver, since it was partly my fault.
See also: prefer