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noun op·tion \ˈäp-shən\

Simple Definition of option

  • : the opportunity or ability to choose something or to choose between two or more things

  • : something that can be chosen : a choice or possibility

  • : a right to buy or sell something for a specified price during a specified period of time

Full Definition of option

  1. 1 :  an act of choosing

  2. 2 a :  the power or right to choose :  freedom of choice b :  a privilege of demanding fulfillment of a contract on any day within a specified time c :  a contract conveying a right to buy or sell designated securities, commodities, or property interest at a specified price during a stipulated period; also :  the right conveyed by an option d :  a right of an insured person to choose the form in which payments due on a policy shall be made or applied

  3. 3 :  something that may be chosen: as a :  an alternative course of action <didn't have many options open> b :  an item that is offered in addition to or in place of standard equipment

  4. 4 :  an offensive football play in which a back may choose whether to pass or run with the ball —called also option play

Examples of option

  1. You have the option of staying home or coming with us.

  2. He has the option to cancel the deal.

  3. We have a wide range of options available to us.

  4. Menu options at the café include soups, salads, and sandwiches.

  5. Select an option from the drop-down menu.

  6. Filing taxes online is an option for people with Internet access.

  7. I had no option but to start over.

  8. A good option is to do the work yourself.

  9. Employees will each be granted options to buy 1,000 shares of company stock.

  10. The option must be exercised within five years.

Origin of option

French, from Latin option-, optio free choice; akin to Latin optare to choose

First Known Use: 1593

Synonym Discussion of option

choice, option, alternative, preference, selection, election mean the act or opportunity of choosing or the thing chosen. choice suggests the opportunity or privilege of choosing freely <freedom of choice>. option implies a power to choose that is specifically granted or guaranteed <the option of paying now or later>. alternative implies a need to choose one and reject another possibility <equally attractive alternatives>. preference suggests a choice guided by one's judgment or predilections <a preference for cool weather>. selection implies a range of choice <a varied selection of furniture>. election implies an end or purpose which requires exercise of judgment <doing a tax return forces certain elections on you>.

choice, exquisite, elegant, rare, delicate, dainty mean having qualities that appeal to a cultivated taste. choice stresses preeminence in quality or kind <choice fabric>. exquisite implies a perfection in workmanship or design that appeals only to very sensitive taste <an exquisite gold bracelet>. elegant applies to what is rich and luxurious but restrained by good taste <a sumptuous but elegant dining room>. rare suggests an uncommon excellence <rare beauty>. delicate implies exquisiteness, subtlety, and fragility <delicate craftsmanship>. dainty sometimes carries an additional suggestion of smallness and of appeal to the eye or palate <dainty sandwiches>.



verb op·tion

Definition of option

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to grant or take an option on

  3. 2 :  to acquire the exclusive right to use (an author's work) as the basis for a motion picture <the studio optioned the novel for a film>


First Known Use of option


OPTION Defined for Kids


noun op·tion \ˈäp-shən\

Definition of option

  1. 1 :  the power or right to choose <Children have an option between milk or juice.>

  2. 2 :  something that can be chosen <Quitting is not an option.>

  3. 3 :  a right to buy or sell something at a specified price during a specified period <His parents took an option on the house.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up option? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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