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 But the singular option to file claims online can be a problem in a state where 43% of rural areas lack broadband coverage. Star Tribune, "Wisconsin jobless claims rise as state's system woes persist," 21 Nov. 2020 The most lucrative option is to join the board of a large company. The Economist, "Bartleby How to play the board game," 21 Nov. 2020 The only other option is to ask existing staff to work more hours. Olivia Goldhill, STAT, "‘People are going to die’: Hospitals in half the states are facing a massive staffing shortage as Covid-19 surges," 19 Nov. 2020 The best option is to use either an electrician’s multimeter or a tool specifically designed for repairing Christmas lights, such as the Lightkeeper Pro. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Fix a String of Christmas Lights," 19 Nov. 2020 Of course, the safest option would be to hold events virtually, and skip in-person, indoor gatherings, especially big groups, altogether this year. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Five Online Tools for Evaluating Covid-19 Risk Ahead of the Holidays," 18 Nov. 2020 Another option is to work on becoming more comfortable with uncertainty through practices such as meditation and the cultivation of mindfulness. Mark Satta, The Conversation, "3 reasons for information exhaustion – and what to do about it," 18 Nov. 2020 Infectious disease experts, like UCSF’s George Rutherford, will say the most prudent option is for your daughter to stay home and not risk infecting herself or any member of the family, including the grandfather. Chronicle Advice Team, SFChronicle.com, "My kid is coming home from college for Thanksgiving. How would experts grade our COVID safety plan?," 18 Nov. 2020 As Reed noted above, one option is to rely on a network filter that runs from outside their Mac. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Apple lets some Big Sur network traffic bypass firewalls," 17 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 The car has a 5.0-liter V8 engine, optioned with the 4-speed automatic transmission and 51,092 original miles. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Barrett-Jackson: 10 cool cars, trucks and even a motorbike that will cross the auction block on Monday in Scottsdale," 13 Jan. 2020 Cardinals: RHP Junior Fernandez was optioned to Memphis following Wednesday night’s game after throwing two scoreless innings. Joe Harris, The Denver Post, "Rockies fall short against Cardinals as bullpen collapses again," 22 Aug. 2019 Before rosters were frozen Friday by the new agreement between Major League Baseball and the players association, the Milwaukee Brewers further reduced their spring training roster by optioning five players to the minors. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers option five players to the minors before rosters are frozen for a period," 27 Mar. 2020 By optioning players now, a team can guarantee itself a little more flexibility when the game does return. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "Rangers option Taylor Hearn, Scott Heineman to Triple-A Nashville," 26 Mar. 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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Learn More about option

Time Traveler for option

Time Traveler

The first known use of option was circa 1550

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Statistics for option

Last Updated

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Option.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/option. Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for option

option

noun
How to pronounce option (audio)

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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