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 Wong, 30, signed a two-year, $18 million deal with the Brewers over the offseason after the Cardinals opted not to pick up his contract option for 2021. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers put Kolten Wong on 10-day injured list with oblique strain, add Jace Peterson to roster," 10 Apr. 2021 Other babies don’t do well with the scented baby detergents and do better with a free and clear, dye- and fragrance-free option. Laura Wheatman Hill, chicagotribune.com, "Which laundry detergent is best for seasonal allergies?," 10 Apr. 2021 Wong spent eight years with the Cardinals before St. Louis declined his option last fall. Steve Overbey, ajc, "Arenado's late HR lifts Cards over Brewers in home debut," 9 Apr. 2021 Belowdecks, there’s a full-beam double cabin—to some owners, this is the preferred master suite—plus two or three twin-berth cabins with the option to turn any of them into a gym, library or office. Howard Walker, Robb Report, "Boat of the Week: This Rule-Breaking 95-Foot Superyacht Is Like a Two-Story Penthouse for the Water," 9 Apr. 2021 The sizes range from 18 inches to 48 inches in length, and the crate comes with either a single door or double door option. Mili Godio, NBC News, "How to crate train your dog, according to experts," 8 Apr. 2021 The Chase Sapphire Preferred is ideal for people who want to travel for free using easily redeemable points, but with the option to learn how to master transferable points down the line for even greater value. Darren Murph, CNN Underscored, "Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which credit card is best for you?," 8 Apr. 2021 His option came down to senior equipment manager Zac Steigmeyer, a former prep netminder. Randy Johnson, Star Tribune, "UMass coach calls having top scorer, goalie out only slight disadvantage," 8 Apr. 2021 Republicans have highlighted a new requirement for every county to offer two Saturdays of early voting instead of just one, with the option to add two Sundays, though several more populous Democratic counties already offered two Saturdays. Alexa Corse, WSJ, "What’s in the Georgia Voting Law," 8 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Barring an injury that requires him to be recalled sooner, a player has to remain in the minors 10 days after being optioned. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres notes: Runs after walks; flight delay; Martini arrives; Myers starts," 29 Aug. 2019 Smith, meanwhile, rejoins the Brewers after being optioned out on Saturday. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brandon Woodruff is out for six weeks. What will the Brewers do without him?," 22 July 2019

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

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Option.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/option. Accessed 17 Apr. 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

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Comments on option

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