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I'm looking for another word to use as the opposite of prefer. The searches I looked up show this has been asked before, but not quite in the context I was looking for.

Here is the context, and I apologize for going technical:

                    +------+
                    |      |
       +------------+  R2  +---------------------+
       |            |      |                     |
       |            +------+                     |
       |                                         |
+------+            +------+                  +--v---+
|      |            |      |                  |      |
|  R1  +------------+  R3  +------------------>  R5  |
|      |            |      |                  |      |
+------+            +------+                  +---^--+
       |                                          |
       |            +------+                      |
       |            |      |                      |
       +------------+  R4  +----------------------+
                    |      |
                    +------+

R1 has three paths to get to R5. One through R2, one through R3, and another through R4. All three paths are viable, but some paths might be more preferred than the others.

There are configurations changes we can make to have R1 prefer paths through R2. And there are configuration changes we can make to have R1 de-prefer paths through R4.

Specifically, I am looking for a substitute for de-prefer in the text above. Similar to de-prioritize, or dis-prefer, but I don't think either of those words do it quite justice or work for simple conversational English.

In either case, the path through R4 is never "negated", it is always a viable path, but only when the paths through R2/R3 are not available.

The very specific context is I am trying to provide instructions to students who will be applying the configuration changes discussed above. The best I could get so far is:

In case xyz, de-prefer the path through R4

But again, I don't think that sounds right.

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  • @lawrence Yea, I can see the confusion. I need the opposite of "preference as in increasing the preference for" (and not picking between two choices, or between one preferred and one disliked). I'm open to suggestions on rephrasing.
    – Eddie
    Mar 18, 2017 at 2:35
  • Try something like revert to 'no preference'.
    – Lawrence
    Mar 18, 2017 at 2:40
  • 1
    @Lawrence Tried something new. I think that clears it up.
    – Eddie
    Mar 18, 2017 at 2:58
  • 1
    You can talk about the precedence ordering and thus lower/decrease the precedence for the path through R4
    – Jim
    Mar 18, 2017 at 3:10
  • 4
    What's wrong with disfavor, suggested in both of the questions you linked? Does it need to be more absolute than that, or less? That is, do you want to say you can make R-1 go from preferring R-4 to feeling neutral toward it, or do you want to go from neutral/preferring to viewing R-4 as a less-favored option than the others, or even not an option at all?
    – 1006a
    Mar 18, 2017 at 3:10

2 Answers 2

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I have seen and used deprioritize in contexts similar to yours.

(transitive) To reduce the level of priority of.

Do you want me to deprioritize my current report to get this done?‎

Wiktionary

So:

There are configurations changes we can make to have R1 prefer paths through R2. And there are configuration changes we can make to have R1 deprioritize paths through R4.

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It seems like the most natural way to do it would be to "prefer" the negative.

"I perfer not to discuss such matters"

In your example

There is are configurations changes we can make to have R1 prefer paths through R2. And there are configuration changes we can make to have R1 prefer paths not through R4

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