option

noun
op·​tion | \ ˈäp-shən How to pronounce option (audio) \

Definition of option

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act of choosing hard to make an option between such alternatives
2a : the power or right to choose : freedom of choice He has the option to cancel the deal.
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 The ad is for a condo to rent with an option to buy.
d : a right of an insured person to choose the form in which payments due on a policy shall be made or applied
3 : something that may be chosen: such 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 A sunroof is one of the options that you can get with the car.
4 : an offensive football play in which a back (see back entry 1 sense 3) may choose whether to pass or run with the ball

called also option play

option

verb
optioned; optioning; options

Definition of option (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to grant or take an option on
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

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Choose the Right Synonym for option

Noun

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

Examples of option in a Sentence

Noun You have the option of staying home or coming with us. He has the option to cancel the deal. We have a wide range of options available to us. Menu options at the café include soups, salads, and sandwiches. Select an option from the drop-down menu. Filing taxes online is an option for people with Internet access. I had no option but to start over. A good option is to do the work yourself. Employees will each be granted options to buy 1,000 shares of company stock. The option must be exercised within five years.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Just as American energy executives shelved coal the minute natural gas could takes it place, the cooling industry will be happy to swap out HFC for a slightly more expensive, marginally more climate-friendly option. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Make Air Conditioners Suck Less," 4 May 2021 Board member Scott Schmerelson insisted that the survey format made the third option — no change — hard to find, leading him to speculate that a higher percentage of parents oppose the longer year. Howard Blume Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Extend the school year? Teachers say no, parents say meh. LAUSD retreats from its plan," 4 May 2021 In this version, the filling is chicken tinga, a lighter, quicker option with a little heat that begins with jalapenos, chipotle peppers, and tomatoes, which is used to cook chicken breasts. BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: Trendy quesatacos, filled with chicken tinga, are crispy, juicy, messy, a little hot, and delicious," 4 May 2021 The second option, operated by VHT, is for passengers flying on Delta Air Lines and all other carriers. Harriet Baskas, USA TODAY, "Wait no more: New SeaTac program lets travelers reserve a time at airport checkpoint," 3 May 2021 Another good option: Find a good florist in the distant city. Star Tribune, "Get the best Mothers' Day blooms for your buck," 1 May 2021 Yet dotted across the country are numerous routes where population density and distances make rail a viable option -- and a social necessity. Ben Jones, CNN, "America's Amtrak moment could finally be here," 1 May 2021 Most teams will view him as a situational back, or a run-pass-option-style playmaker. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Kelly: Top 25 players still available after second day of 2021 NFL draft | Analysis," 1 May 2021 Whatever the case, with the NFL MVP not an option, and a rookie with 17 starts and 318 pass attempts at North Dakota State in the fold, Garoppolo appears to have more job security. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, "49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo decision: How draft results impact their trade options," 30 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Given all the noise, only those with a twisted sense of humor will option the 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, though dedicated racing types will gladly upgrade to the Pirelli slicks and six-point cockpit harness. Viju Mathew, Robb Report, "Here’s What It’s Like to Drive McLaren’s 611 HP Street-Legal Racer, the 620R," 1 May 2021 Shelby County students and staff now have to option to keep masks on in classrooms or during school activities. Ruth Serven Smith | Rserven@al.com, al, "Several more Alabama school districts drop mask rules," 26 Apr. 2021 The ability to option him to St. Paul means no other team can claim Thorpe if the Twins decide to do so. Megan Ryan, Star Tribune, "Willians Astudillo hoping his position versatility lands him spot on Twins roster," 24 Mar. 2021 Without an open spot in the rotation at the moment, and with only 16 innings of competitive baseball over the past 18 months, the ability to option him back and forth to St. Paul seems ideal. Phil Miller, Star Tribune, "Lewis Thorpe good enough for Twins to keep, but it might not be feasible," 7 Mar. 2021 With the aforementioned injury risk involved in the longer season, some end-of-roster flexibility — such as a 30-man pool to easily option pitchers on and off the roster without mandatory time in the minors — would be wise. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Opinion: MLB's second season of pandemic ball remains a balancing act: Cash, competition and COVID-19," 26 Jan. 2021 Her book deal ultimately fell through, though Smythe did manage to option the movie rights to her story. Los Angeles Times, "A journalist blew up her life for ‘pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli. The writer who told her story isn’t sure why," 21 Dec. 2020 Leading rusher Boobee Whitlow left the program back in February, leaving the Tigers searching for a new go-to option out of the backfield. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "Biggest questions, position battles for Auburn at start of fall camp," 16 Aug. 2020 Better Noise Films has also optioned books like Nikki Sixx’s The Heroin Diaries and a sci-fi story, Perfect New World. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, "Music Producer Allen Kovac Launches Better Noise Films," 16 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'option.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of option

Noun

circa 1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for option

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for option

Time Traveler

The first known use of option was circa 1550

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Statistics for option

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Option.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/option. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for option

option

noun

English Language Learners 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

option

noun
op·​tion | \ ˈäp-shən How to pronounce option (audio) \

Kids Definition of option

1 : the power or right to choose Children have an option between milk or juice.
2 : something that can be chosen Quitting is not an option.
3 : a right to buy or sell something at a specified price during a specified period His parents took an option on the house.

option

noun
op·​tion | \ ˈäp-shən How to pronounce option (audio) \

Legal Definition of option

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the power or right to choose also : a choice made or available
2 : a privilege of demanding fulfillment of a contract on any day within a specified time
3 : a contract conveying in exchange for the payment of a premium a right to buy or sell designated securities, commodities, or interests in property at a specified price during a stipulated period also : the right conveyed by such a contract decided to exercise his option
call option
: an option to buy at a fixed price at or within a certain time — compare put option in this entry
covered option
: an option in which the optionor owns the security or commodity to be conveyed under the option — compare naked option in this entry
futures option
: an option on futures
incentive stock option \ in-​ˈsen-​tiv-​ \
: a stock option granted by a corporation to its officers and employees as supplementary compensation that is subject to special tax treatment under the Internal Revenue Code
index option
: an option on a stock index
naked option
: an option in which the optionor does not own the security or commodity and will have to purchase it at market price if the optionee decides to exercise the option — compare covered option in this entry
put option
: an option to sell for a fixed price at or within a specified time
stock option
: an option giving the optionee the right to purchase a specified number of shares of stock from a corporation at a specified price at or within a specified time — see also incentive stock option in this entry
4 : a right of an insured to choose the form in which various payments due him or her on a policy shall be made or applied
dividend option
: an option allowing the owner of a participating insurance policy and especially a life insurance policy to determine how dividends are to be paid (as in cash or by being applied as payment for additional insurance)
installments-for-a-fixed-amount option
: a settlement option in which the insurer retains the policy proceeds and makes periodic payments of a fixed amount until the proceeds are exhausted

called also fixed amount option

installments-for-a-fixed-period option
: a settlement option in which the policy proceeds are retained by the insurer and paid in installments over a fixed period of time

called also fixed period option

interest-only option
: a settlement option in which the insurer retains the policy proceeds and makes interest payments at a guaranteed minimum rate
joint-and-last-survivorship option
: an option in which the insurer makes periodic payments to two or more persons (as a husband and wife) of the proceeds or usually cash value of a policy until the death of the last survivor
life income option
: a settlement option in which the insurer retains the policy proceeds and makes periodic payments for the beneficiary's life or for a specified number of years even after the beneficiary's death with payments to a different recipient
nonforfeiture option \ ˌnän-​ˈfȯr-​fə-​ˌchu̇r-​ \
: an option (as to surrender the policy for its cash value or convert the policy to one with a smaller face amount or to a term policy with a shorter period) available to a policyholder who has ceased paying premiums
settlement option
: an option to receive payments of the proceeds of a life insurance policy other than by lump sum

Legal Definition of option (Entry 2 of 2)

: to grant or take an option on started buying or optioning riverfront land— Rita Koselka

Comments on option

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