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

Later this year, the collection will become available in select Nike stores as well as online at and on the Nike SNKRS app. Tim Brown,, "Nike, Doernbecher reveal 6 patient-designers for 2019 DB Freestyle shoe, clothing collections," 12 Aug. 2019 Bethel residents are being advised to take precautions after elevated levels of lead and copper were found in the city’s drinking water from select locations. Anna Rose Macarthur, Anchorage Daily News, "Bethel water testing shows lead and copper levels exceeding federal standards," 8 Aug. 2019 The anniversary screenings will take place in select theaters across the country on Sept. 22, 24, and 25. Lauren Huff,, "The Shawshank Redemption is returning to theaters for its 25th anniversary," 30 July 2019 For Sama opens in select theaters on July 26 and will air on Frontline later this year. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "For Sama captures life in Aleppo under siege. It’s not like anything you’ve seen before.," 26 July 2019 Check out the full The Karla x Welch collection above, launching online at and in select express stores. James Love, Essence, "Celebrity Stylist, Karla Welch Collaborates With Express For A Second Time Express.," 17 July 2019 Additionally, the exhibition marks the launch of Louis Vuitton’s limited-edition ArtyCapucines Collection, which is available at select stores nationwide and globally and at the exhibition’s shop. Lindzi Scharf,, "For Louis Vuitton’s CEO, L.A. is ‘the culture capital of the world’," 4 July 2019 The film opens in select theaters on October 4, 2019, with a wide release soon after, on October 11, 2019. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Current War Pits Benedict Cumberbatch Against Nicholas Hoult and Michael Shannon," 26 June 2019 Curator paints are available now at select stores in Connecticut, with more availability in stores across California and Oregon to come later this year. Jeffrey Bauman, ELLE Decor, "This Paint Brand from Ireland Wants to Tell a Story with Every Color," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

During the last gubernatorial election, prominent Baltimore lawyer Jim Shea selected Scott as his running mate. Luke Broadwater,, "City Council President Brandon Scott enters race for Baltimore mayor, heating up 2020 contest," 13 Sep. 2019 In May, the mayor selected the National Police Foundation to investigate whether Portland police have acted with bias before and during demonstrations involving right-wing and anti-fascist protesters. oregonlive, "Cop cleared in controversy over his friendly texts with Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson before, during protests," 12 Sep. 2019 Eventually, four board members and the trio of survivors selected the firm to do the investigation. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "Nassar survivors: MSU president must act after 'complete betrayal' from board members," 9 Sep. 2019 Now ProPublica has obtained the video and selected significant passages. David Armstrong, ProPublica, "Watch Richard Sackler Deny His Family’s Role in the Opioid Crisis," 27 Aug. 2019 Periodically, Gibson selected a fish, scraped off a few scales, and affixed them to the pages of a small notebook using the salmon’s own slime. Lesley Evans Ogden, Science | AAAS, "Century-old salmon-smeared notebooks reveal past bounty of fisheries," 20 Aug. 2019 But if participants were asked to assess 12 characteristics, the opposite happened: undisturbed reflection had a negative effect on decision-making; only 25 percent selected the best car. Laura Kutsch, Scientific American, "Can We Rely on Our Intuition?," 15 Aug. 2019 The story wasn’t selected for the podcast, but Ben got a letter with notes on what a reader liked about it. Vicky Hallett, Washington Post, "For the Story Pirates, kids’ creativity is a treasure," 18 Sep. 2019 Falk, 24, was selected by the Titans in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL draft out of Washington State. Charlotte Carroll,, "Jets Quarterback Trevor Siemian Out Year With Ankle Injury," 17 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Alala: Save 50% on select activewear styles, until Sept. 3. Jacob Krol, Noelle Ike And Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored, "Labor Day Sales 2019: Your A-Z guide to shop on Sunday," 1 Sep. 2019 From now until this Wednesday, July 31, beauty lovers can score up to 30 percent off on select Paula's Choice products — no code required. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Paula's Choice Is Having a "Summer Essentials" Sale With Products Up to 30 Percent Off," 27 July 2019 The whole team is proud of Fisher’s Southern Grace dinner series, which draws chefs from New Orleans and across the South to Orange Beach on select Thursdays in the summer. Brett Anderson, al, "Where New Orleans meets Alabama: Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina," 22 May 2019 The wine festival will showcase more than 150 wines from local, national and international producers, more than 30 select craft beers and a variety of spirits. Carol Kovach,, "Pearl of the Orient bows out of Rocky River restaurant scene: West Shore Chatter," 3 Sep. 2019 Companies are already growing and serving up their foods in select, in-house taste tests, but scaling up and creating enough meat to supply the larger market remains elusive. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "The leading US cell-based meat startups just forged an alliance," 29 Aug. 2019 Their intent is to re-release select games from Telltale’s catalog and develop new games. Nick Romano,, "Telltale Games, home of Batman and The Walking Dead series, revived after shutdown," 28 Aug. 2019 Target will start by rolling it out these new Disney stores into 25 select Target locations by this October, and then plan on adding 40 more by October 2020. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Disney Stores Are Setting up Shop Inside 25 Target Locations, and We Want to Live in Them," 27 Aug. 2019 Homeis has since expanded to communities for three nationalities -- Israeli, French, and Indians in select US cities. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Social network Homeis thinks a safe space for immigrants online is possible," 20 Aug. 2019

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

14 Oct 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).


to fake an opponent out of position

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