se·​lect | \ sə-ˈlekt How to pronounce select (audio) \

Definition of select

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : chosen from a number or group by fitness or preference
2a : of special value or excellence : superior, choice
b : exclusively or fastidiously chosen often with regard to social, economic, or cultural characteristics
3 : judicious or restrictive in choice : discriminating pleased with the select appreciation of his books— Osbert Sitwell


selected; selecting; selects

Definition of select (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to choose (as by fitness or excellence) from a number or group : pick out

intransitive verb

: to make a choice



Definition of select (Entry 3 of 3)

: one that is select often used in plural

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Other Words from select


selectable \ sə-​ˈlek-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce selectable (audio) \ adjective
selectness \ sə-​ˈlek(t)-​nəs How to pronounce selectness (audio) \ noun
selector \ sə-​ˈlek-​tər How to pronounce selector (audio) \ noun

Examples of select in a Sentence

Adjective Only a few select employees attended the meeting. A select committee was formed to plan the project. The group was small and select. A select number of people are invited. Only a select few will be accepted into the program. He only drinks select wines. Verb Please select one item from the list. The school will only select 12 applicants for enrollment. Knowing the importance of making the right choice, he selected carefully. Select “Insert” from the “Edit” menu.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Dolce & Gabbana boutiques, Jimmy Choo heels, $750, select Jimmy Choo stores TOP DECK Model and filmmaker Lili Sumner and her boyfriend, writer and photographer Ahmed Alramly, take it easy in his-and-hers trousers. WSJ, "Fall In Love With These Autumn Styles," 13 Oct. 2020 Kindle Book Deals Receive a $5 credit on any Kindle book with the purchase of select Kindle devices. Leada Gore |, al, "Best Amazon Prime Day deals 2020: Live updates on lightning deals, hottest toys, electronics, more," 13 Oct. 2020 Barrel-select bourbon and orange cordial on the nose was a smooth complement to the 32 oz. Amy Drew Thompson,, "New steakhouse, Knife & Spoon, now open at Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes," 7 Oct. 2020 To set up FileVault, click the Apple menu and select System Preferences. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "Tech security tip: How to delete private data for good," 3 Oct. 2020 Upload a photo or saying to personalize the pajama alternative or select from hundreds of looks. oregonlive, "Breast Cancer Awareness Month: These retailers are designing in pink and donating," 1 Oct. 2020 Players are restricted from meeting in large groups on the day after games, and select media members still are undergoing routine coronavirus testing. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' Matt Patricia: NFL's coronavirus outbreak reminds us 'COVID is still real'," 1 Oct. 2020 This allows the department to both select from a larger list and shorten the overall hiring process. Brian Lisik, cleveland, "Brunswick City Council approves ‘lateral hires’ in fire department," 29 Sep. 2020 Instacart shoppers -- not Costco employees -- select customers' orders, and customers pay a fee to Instacart for delivery. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, "Costco is missing out on an exploding grocery trend," 24 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The 1968 Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago from Monday August 26 to Thursday August 29 to select the party's candidates for the upcoming presidential election. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "The True Story Behind The Trial of the Chicago 7," 17 Oct. 2020 County Attorney Adel, a Republican, is hoping voters will select her for a full term after she was appointed by the Board of Supervisors in October 2019 when Bill Montgomery became a justice for the Arizona Supreme Court. Lauren Castle, The Arizona Republic, "Maricopa County Attorney candidates Allister Adel, Julie Gunnigle to debate," 16 Oct. 2020 The Democratic Party sent representatives, but objected to the event and declined to select ballots for review. Brittany Wallman,, "Trump Republicans ask to double-check Broward ballot signatures," 16 Oct. 2020 As with the deal on the Echo 5, be sure to select the option with the free one-year subscription to Food Network Kitchen for access to shows and live cooking classes with Food Network chefs. Scott Gilbertson, Wired, "We Found Every Good Prime Day Deal on Amazon Devices," 15 Oct. 2020 The election to select council members for Places 2, 4, 6 (Mayor), and 8 will be conducted on May 1. Teri Webster, Dallas News, "Plano voters, here’s what’s on your ballot for the 2020 November elections," 12 Oct. 2020 Click Clear browsing data and select your date range for deletion. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "Blur your home on Maps and erase your data to remove your life from Google’s grip," 24 Sep. 2020 Fans eligible to purchase tickets for Florida Gators home football games will begin to select their seats Monday for the team’s five scheduled games in the Swamp. Edgar Thompson,, "UF finalizes policy for Gators football ticket purchases," 13 Sep. 2020 Why not select chairs for your home that do the latter? John-john Williams Iv,, "Sitting pretty: These statement chairs go beyond utilitarian," 12 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The per-pound price for to-go claws from Billy’s seafood market are $25 for medium, $30 for select, $35 for large, $49 for jumbo and $53 for colossal. Chris Perkins,, "Stone crab season is under way with a mix of optimism and uncertainty under a coronavirus cloud," 16 Oct. 2020 There has been chatter in the aerospace community in recent months that one or more of the lander teams are pushing for all of the funding in this February down-select by intimating that the other teams cannot possibly meet the technical challenge. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA wants a big budget increase for its Moon plans. Is Congress biting?," 23 Sep. 2020 First select from a panel of categories like couples, men’s, or women’s costumes, and then choose from more narrower selections like scary, funny, or princess storybook costumes. Marissa Miller, USA TODAY, "The 10 best places you can buy Halloween costumes online," 15 Sep. 2020 Delta has eliminated change fees for domestic flights, including to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, for tickets in first class, premium select, Delta Comfort+, and main cabin, the company announced. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, "American, Delta, Alaska Follow United’s Lead and Drop Change Fees," 1 Sep. 2020 Brother Vellies released its Huarache sandal in mens allotting for a comfy select and serves as a great cook-out shoe for the summer. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Father's Day Gifts For The Dad Who Loves Fashion," 9 June 2020 Among them: a new reservation system that allows visitors to pick a time on select dates to drive the park road in their own vehicle, a unique opportunity that usually occurs only with the road lottery in September. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Unusual summer at Denali National Park will include private drivers and guided caravans," 28 May 2020 The first is for 29 rooms available at a $29 rate (Sunday nights only); the second is a 29% discount on reservations for select dates between April 1 and Dec. 31. Harriet Baskas, USA TODAY, "Leap year offers an extra day – and extra perks for travelers, especially leaplings," 22 Feb. 2020 Fosse will continue his work on the A’s TV broadcasts on NBC Sports California; that schedule has not yet been announced but all 162 regular-season games are expected to be aired, with select games on the MLB Network. Susan Slusser,, "A’s broadcast plan includes no Bay Area radio station - it’s streaming only," 18 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'select.' 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 select


circa 1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1566, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1610, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for select


Latin selectus, past participle of seligere to select, from se- apart (from sed, se without) + legere to gather, select — more at suicide, legend

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Time Traveler for select

Time Traveler

The first known use of select was circa 1555

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Statistics for select

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Select.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for select


How to pronounce select (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of select

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: chosen from a group to include the best people or things
: of the highest quality



English Language Learners Definition of select (Entry 2 of 2)

: to choose (someone or something) from a group
computers : to choose (a particular action, section of text, etc.) especially by using a mouse


se·​lect | \ sə-ˈlekt How to pronounce select (audio) \
selected; selecting

Kids Definition of select

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to pick out from a group I selected a ripe peach.



Kids Definition of select (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : chosen to include the best or most suitable individuals select committees Select students participated in the program.
2 : of special value or excellence a select hotel
se·​lect | \ sə-ˈlekt How to pronounce select (audio) \

Medical Definition of select

: to cause a specified gene, trait, or organism to become more frequent or less frequent usually used with for or againstanimal breeders need to select simultaneously for improved conformity to breed characteristics and against defective genes causing disease

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