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


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.


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

But beneath HP’s Spectre stamp also hides the product of a rare collaboration between Intel’s top engineers and select customers, which helped extend the Folio’s battery life to a whopping 18 hours. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "A dream team of Intel engineers helped create HP's tiny Spectre Folio motherboard," 1 Oct. 2018 Before her death in Paris, France in 1983, Bismarck made arrangements for select pieces of her wardrobe and jewelry to be donated to museums throughout the world. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "The modern fashion industry owes much of its thanks to The Kentucky Countess," 19 Feb. 2018 Some manufacturers have added optional accessories that are available with select faucet lines. Ed Del Grande, The Seattle Times, "Collect compliments with collection fixtures," 25 Mar. 2019 For a select set of adults aged 18 to 64, six hours of rest every night can be enough, the NSF says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How Much Sleep Do I Need?," 21 Mar. 2019 The strawless lids are already available in some stores around the world for select specialty beverages. ... Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "Starbucks to Debut New Lids This Summer in Six Cities," 20 Mar. 2019 Under the right conditions, the paper says, a select few humans can detect the Earth's magnetic field. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Some Humans Can Detect the Earth's Magnetic Field," 19 Mar. 2019 On March 20, Instagram officially launched in-app check-out for shoppable posts from select retailers. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Instagram Launches In-App Purchasing," 19 Mar. 2019 Fubo offers numerous add-ons for extra sports channels and even shows some events in 4K on select devices. Chris Welch, The Verge, "The Verge Cord Cutter’s Guide: hardware, software, and services," 20 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While no two students are the same, many parents select DCA for similar reasons. Damar Services, Indianapolis Star, "A peek inside Indiana’s first charter school specializing in serving students with special needs," 10 July 2018 Parents select the lunches from an online order form that lists the day's featured restaurant and its menu choices. Melissa Kossler Dutton, The Christian Science Monitor, "How food deliveries could change lunchtime at school," 10 July 2018 The list, devised by a panel of judges selected by attractions-professional website Blooloop in conjunction with Omnico Group, designates a Power 10. Dewayne Bevil,, "New list spotlights theme-park influencers, including Rohde, Iger, Coup," 11 July 2018 Following an invitation-only competition, the Andy Warhol Foundation selected the museum as the permanent home of Warhol’s contact sheets and negatives. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Thousands of Unseen Photos Featuring Andy Warhol and Celebrity Pals to Be Digitized," 11 July 2018 Ducey's office selected the outside counsel that conducted the investigation, which did not include an interview of the woman who had made the accusations. Craig Harris, azcentral, "Arizona Parks Director Sue Black again faces investigation for her treatment of staff," 10 July 2018 Forty inmates are selected to work with the Ellis County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas (SPCA). Charlene Santiago, star-telegram, "'They teach us and we teach them’," 9 July 2018 And right now, the site is having a sale with discounts including 25 percent off all best sellers, 20 percent off Dominix Bondage Gear and Bondage Boutiques, and even 20 percent of select Lovehoney lingerie. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Online Sex Toy Boutique Lovehoney Is Having a Sale on Some of Our Favorite Vibrators," 8 Mar. 2019 In total, preparations for the Great Exhibition, which included not only selecting the location in Hyde Park, but also designing, manufacturing, and building the inconic Crystal Palace, took just 16 months. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The True Story of Prince Albert's Great Exhibition," 4 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Info on this year's Presidents' Day sales hasn't been announced yet, but here's a look at last year's sales to give you an idea of what to expect: Take 30 percent off home items at Target, and an extra 15 percent off select furniture and rugs. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "All The Best Furniture Sales Going On This Presidents' Day," 14 Jan. 2019 Newsletter Sign-up Her proposal calls for establishing a new select House committee for dealing with climate issues. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Climate Change Emerging From the Political Shadows," 10 Dec. 2018 Points of resistance — celebrity #nomakeup selfies, the rise of a few select plus-size models like Ashley Graham — function as feel-good distractions from the body conformity overwhelmingly prized on the platforms. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "‘I Feel Pretty’ and the Rise of Beauty-Standard Denialism," 23 Apr. 2018 Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., with snacks priced at $4 and $5, discounts on well drinks and draft beers, specialty cocktails for $5 and $6 and $5 select wines by the glass. Leeanne Griffin,, "Trattoria Toscana: Classic And Contemporary Italian In A Relaxed Atmosphere," 12 Mar. 2018 Happy hour will be 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday with $5 select wine, beer, cocktails and snacks. Marc Bona,, "Sausalito on Ninth to open Feb. 26 in new location," 20 Feb. 2018 For those non-Olympians looking to wear their American spirit on their sleeve, the Team USA collection are available select Ralph Lauren and Polo Ralph Lauren stores and on and Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "See Team USA's 2018 Winter Olympics Uniform in Action," 9 Feb. 2018 The pop-in runs through April 14 at select Nordstrom locations. Teen Vogue, "15 Beauty Products From Nordstrom You Should Add To Your Cart Now," 11 Mar. 2019 Chick-fil-A: There’s not a nationwide promotion but select locations are offering teachers a deal Tuesday. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Teachers get freebies, discounts this week -- but not more pay," 7 May 2018

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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Learn More about select

Statistics for select

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for select

The first known use of select was circa 1555

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More Definitions for select



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 against animal breeders need to select simultaneously for improved conformity to breed characteristics and against defective genes causing disease

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More from Merriam-Webster on select

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with select

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for select

Spanish Central: Translation of select

Nglish: Translation of select for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of select for Arabic Speakers

Comments on select

What made you want to look up select? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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