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

While bacteria might nestle into the roots of select groups of plants, fungi are without question the masters of the underground domain. Quanta Magazine, "Soil’s Microbial Market Shows the Ruthless Side of Forests," 27 Aug. 2019 Even better, the press release revealed that Prime members can get early access to some deals on select devices starting July 14 at 3 p.m. ET. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "Amazon just released their Prime Day Preview—here are the best deals to look out for," 12 July 2019 The prediction from Clinton administration officials that Nafta could vault Mexico into the select group of developed economies — an aspiration shared on the other side of the border too — never really came to pass. New York Times, "Ross Perot’s Warning of a ‘Giant Sucking Sound’ on Nafta Echoes Today," 9 July 2019 About $31 million, originally spread across thousands of agencies, will now to go select groups guaranteed to significantly address the root causes of poverty. Emily Bamforth,, "United Way of Cleveland changes how it distributes money, cuts recipients," 5 June 2019 After consumers buy pieces from the select group of influencers—Emi Suzuki, Sierra Furtado, Leonie Hanne, and Patricia Bright have also joined the roster—then their garments will be made on-demand and delivered within a few weeks. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Amazon Fashion's First-Ever Capsule Collection, The Drop, Is Here," 5 June 2019 The brand’s Angels, the select group of models on long-term contract, make frequent appearances on its social media channels. Hilary George-parkin, Glamour, "What's Holding Victoria's Secret Back From Body Diversity on the Runway?," 9 Nov. 2018 My next guest was one of the select group of lawmakers to question them both. Fox News, "Rep. Devin Nunes: Indictment of Russians leaves out targeting of GOP," 15 July 2018 Froome is trying to join the select group of Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain as the only riders to win the Tour five times. Joseph Wilson,, "Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria wins Stage 4 of Tour de France," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The 17-year-old 4S Ranch resident was among 20 students (10 from the United States and 10 from the United Kingdom) selected for the Future Cybersecurity Leaders Exchange program this summer. Pomerado News, "Del Norte senior among 10 Americans selected for cybersecurity exchange program," 13 Sep. 2019 Learn about the benefits of growing cover crops, including how to select the right type for your space and needs, when and how to sow your seeds, and what to do with your crop in the spring. oregonlive, "Homes and gardens events around Portland: Fall garden fairs, plant sales and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Get a half-pound of wings or a cheese quesadilla for $7, and select pizzas ($13-$16) for 50% off. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "13 places for happy hour in Tempe," 13 Sep. 2019 The seedlings in Senegal’s reforesting projects are usually locally sourced and selected for their drought resistance and hardiness. Aryn Baker / Mbar Toubab, Time, "Can a 4,815-Mile Wall of Trees Help Curb Climate Change in Africa?," 12 Sep. 2019 Of the 35 players originally selected for the U.S. player pool, only four are in China for the World Cup. Tim Reynolds,, "USA Basketball thinking ahead after disappointing World Cup," 12 Sep. 2019 Of the 35 players originally selected for the U.S. player pool, only four are in China for the World Cup. Tim Reynolds,, "Jerry Colangelo won’t forget the players who backed out on USA Basketball this summer," 12 Sep. 2019 The Conference USA league office announced it’s weekly awards today and the UAB football team had a player selected for a second straight week. Evan Dudley, al, "UAB’s Tyler Johnston named CUSA Offensive Player of the Week," 9 Sep. 2019 These new grapes—selected for their ability to thrive in hotter weather and be more resistant to disease—could be the solution the wine industry is looking for. Fortune, "Can New Grapes Save the Wine Industry From Climate Change?," 31 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Otterbox: Get 20% off select iPhone cases through Sept. 1. Jacob Krol, Noelle Ike And Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored, "Labor Day Sales 2019: Your A-Z guide to shop on Sunday," 1 Sep. 2019 Save up to $900 on select Serta iComfort Mattress sets. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Labor Day Deals to Shop This Weekend," 29 Aug. 2019 Here’s a few family-friendly art programs: A Family Entertainment Series, held at 7:30 p.m. on select Wednesdays, with shows featuring acrobats, zoo animals or magicians. Laura Johnston,, "Brought to you by Lakeside Chautauqua and Arts offerings on Lake Erie, from kids improv to family concerts," 22 July 2019 Alala The high-end activewear brand is offering up to 50 percent off select red, white, and blue styles. Elaheh Nozari, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best 4th of July Sales to Shop This Weekend," 3 July 2019 Shoppers will be able to purchase the shoes at select Vans retailers. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "The Vans Vault Collection Unveiled Three Sneakers Inspired by Frida Kahlo," 26 June 2019 Hay: Save up to 50 percent off select items sitewide. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "All the best sales to shop this weekend," 14 June 2019 Charlotte Tilbury's Hot Lips 2 collection launches June 20 on and June 27 at select retailers. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "Exclusive: Charlotte Tilbury Is Launching a Second Hot Lips Collection," 8 May 2019 Disney will set up mini store-within-a-store at select Target locations. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Disney Stores Are Setting up Shop Inside 25 Target Locations, and We Want to Live in Them," 27 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

2 Sep 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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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