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 Team president Mark Shapiro said a return to Buffalo is a likely option in June because of the heat and humidity in Florida. Rob Gillies, Star Tribune, "Blue Jays expect to play in Florida, Buffalo and Toronto," 18 Feb. 2021 Team President Mark Shapiro said a return to Buffalo is a likely option in June because of the heat and humidity in Florida. David Brandt, ajc, "Easy does it: MLB pitchers prepare for usual 162-game grind," 18 Feb. 2021 Edamame, immature soybeans, are another calcium-rich option. Amy Thomas, Good Housekeeping, "10 Surprising Sources of Calcium," 17 Feb. 2021 This song is really the only option to start off the night. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "44 Best Prom Songs That Need to Be Added To Your Playlist ASAP," 17 Feb. 2021 Simply extending the school day or school year is not likely to be an attractive option for our students or teachers. John Benson, cleveland, "Parma City Schools Superintendent reacts to state seeking coronavirus learning loss plan," 12 Feb. 2021 If Washington offers the wide receiver a one-year contract for the league minimum, that will be Sims’ only option for the 2021 season. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Cam Sims aims to work ‘2 times harder’ after breakthrough season," 12 Feb. 2021 Also in Medfield, Rocky Woods is another lovely option in the Charles River Valley. Diana Bravo, BostonGlobe.com, "Romantic hiking spots for Valentine’s Day," 11 Feb. 2021 The intimacy and vulnerability of a private massage was not the only option here. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "Sorry To Burst Your Bubble — That “Fun” Bachelor Prank Was Actually Pretty Gross," 9 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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

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

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Option.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/option. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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