se·​lect | \ sə-ˈlekt \

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 \ adjective
selectness \ sə-​ˈlek(t)-​nəs \ noun
selector \ sə-​ˈlek-​tər \ 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

The relatively low frequency of the growths suggests a select group of mostly men who, for some reason, regularly ended up with cold water in their ear canals. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The skulls of ancient pearl divers come with abnormal ear canal bone growths," 28 Dec. 2018 With the clock ticking before a select group of federal agencies run out of funding by Friday, President Donald Trump shifted his stance on signing a short-term government spending bill on Thursday morning. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Republicans are trying to figure out what Trump wants to avoid a shutdown.," 20 Dec. 2018 Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse Dads can dine-in on Saturday and Sunday and receive a $25 gift card. Plus, select locations open early at noon on Sunday with surf & turf specials starting at $49.95. Madison Roberts,, "All the Chain Restaurants Where Dads Can Get Free Food and Deals on Father's Day," 14 June 2018 Golden Corral Active-duty military and veterans get a free breakfast on Memorial Day at select locations. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Memorial Day 2018 Deals: Best Freebies and Discounts for Veterans," 25 May 2018 Through May 20, the department store is carrying Allbirds in select locations and on its website. Anh-minh Le, San Francisco Chronicle, "Latest Allbirds shoes do actually grow on trees," 18 Apr. 2018 The new donut fries at Dunkin', for example, are only available at a few select locations in the Boston area. Joey Morona,, "Donut Fries to French Toast tacos: Coming to a fast food joint near you?," 11 Apr. 2018 When Dixie Beer, a local brewery, never recovered after damages following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Benson bought the brewery and revived it in ’17; the beer is now available in select locations throughout the state. Peter King,, "Tom Benson Leaves Behind a Lasting Impact on the City of New Orleans," 15 Mar. 2018 Delicious sneak peek available now at select locations (Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Long Beach/Rainbow Harbor in CA). Madeleine Marr, miamiherald, "Here's how to make the most of National Pizza Pie Day | Miami Herald," 9 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lobbied for Ducey to select her. Terry Tang, The Seattle Times, "Martha McSally to fill McCain Senate seat after losing race," 19 Dec. 2018 West Loop Sheer-to-Waist Opaque Tights, $5.99, Walgreens All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "My Favorite Black Tights Cost $6... And They're From Walgreens," 19 Dec. 2018 This column has therefore been doubtful that Ms. Warren can persuade Democratic primary voters to affirm the end of identity politics by selecting her as their presidential candidate. James Freeman, WSJ, "Too Soon for Democrats To Dump Elizabeth Warren?," 7 Dec. 2018 The nine companies will be responsible for finding their own rocket rides to space, if and when NASA selects them to take a payload to the Moon. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA selects nine companies that will vie to put small landers on the Moon," 29 Nov. 2018 All products featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Wear On a Flight, According to Our Editors," 19 Oct. 2018 And now, another Australian designer has also experienced the Meghan Markle effect, thanks to a chic navy dress that the royal selected for her flawless tour wardrobe. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Just Crashed Another Australian Designer's Website by Wearing a Dress," 18 Oct. 2018 One designer close to Lyagoshina’s heart is Marc Jacobs, who, along with casting director Anita Bitton, selected her, for her first show back after the hiatus, for last season’s Fall 2018 extravaganza. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Marc Jacobs’s New Muse Proves You Don’t Have to Be a Workaholic to Get Ahead in Fashion," 13 Sep. 2018 In 2008, his colleagues selected him to lead the management of the Guantanamo detainee cases. Missy Ryan, Washington Post, "‘There have to be limits’: Lawyers for Guantanamo inmates challenge lifetime imprisonment without charge," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Shoplifters is currently playing in select theaters. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The 21 best movies of 2018," 14 Dec. 2018 Because Roma begins playing in select theaters this weekend. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The first film by Roma director Alfonso Cuarón is streaming on Netflix," 23 Nov. 2018 Diners can trade a backpack full of school supplies for a student at select Title 1 elementary schools for a free sandwich. Lauren Delgado,, "4 Rivers Smokehouse serving up summer fun - including new dishes," 24 May 2018 Maison Numen: Take 30 percent off select handcrafted home decor from around the world through 11/30. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Best Cyber Monday deals you can still shop," 27 Nov. 2018 The store will be marking up to 50 percent off select Teen and YA bestsellers, collectable editions, gift books, and picture books. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The best Black Friday deals for readers," 24 Nov. 2018 This weekend, The Guilty opens theatrically in select US cities. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "The Guilty review: Even in 2018, a simple phone can be utterly thrilling," 21 Oct. 2018 Score 15 percent off select living room furniture, bedroom furniture, mattresses and memory foam, home office furniture, lighting and ceiling fans, bathroom furniture, kids' furniture, sports and outdoor products and home improvement needs. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Overstock's Anniversary Sale Is Here, And It's Got Some Killer Fall Sales," 1 Oct. 2018 Williams won't be the only person to wear Nike x Off-White's Queen Collection: Pieces from this collaboration will be be available for purchase at select Nike locations. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Serena Williams Just Teased Her Epic U.S. Open Outfits Designed by Nike and Off-White," 13 Aug. 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

7 Jan 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 \
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 \

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

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