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

Tesho Akindele, Will Johnson and Kamal Miller were called up by the Canadian national team, while Carlos Ascues was selected by the Peruvian national team and Sebás Mendez was called up to the Ecuador national team. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Five international call-ups reflect growth for Orlando City players," 30 Aug. 2019 Manchester United legend Eric Cantona was the recipient of the prestigious UEFA President’s Award, personally selected by current UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin., "Virgil van Dijk Named UEFA Men's Player of the Year as Lucy Bronze Scoops Women's Award," 29 Aug. 2019 The work of student filmmakers from area colleges and universities will be featured, with films selected by a screening committee of their peers. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Top Baltimore arts events for fall 2019," 29 Aug. 2019 The post is now selected by a group of about 1,200 prominent professionals and members of the Legislative Council, most of whom are loyal to China. Josefin Dolsten,, "Why most Jews in Hong Kong are not involved with the protests," 27 Aug. 2019 The center is one of five pilot sites in the nation selected by the National Institute of Corrections to run programs that will build connections between children and their parents in prison. Amanda Blanco,, "Inmates and their children gather at first family dance in new program at Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution," 27 Aug. 2019 So subjects are selected by pre-screening for early symptoms of potential decline. San Diego Union-Tribune, "No cure yet, but progress made in managing and detecting Alzheimer’s," 26 Aug. 2019 Specific elements have been altered since the Pelli-Walker team was selected by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, but the ambitions never wavered. John King,, "Park-topped Transbay transit center pays architectural dividends, past troubles aside," 26 Aug. 2019 Six bands, including two with Park Ridge roots, are scheduled to take the stage during the day-long event, which raises money through ticket sales for organizations selected by the family. Jennifer Johnson,, "Shout Out: Linda Bruce of Park Ridge, organizer of Soul Jam concert and fundraiser," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Owned by Sierra Nevada, Sufferfest is found at select San Diego County locations, including the Blarney Stone Pub, OB Noodle House, Fish Market, Coronado Cays Yacht Club and the finish lines of numerous foot races. Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How big is San Diego’s craft beer industry? Bigger than Taylor, Kanye, Ed, the Eagles...," 15 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, Office Depot, Inc. carries Guard Dog Security products in select Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores across the U.S. as well as online while carries ProShield backpacks. Fortune, "Makers of Bullet-Resistant Kids’ Backpacks Face Criticism," 13 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, Office Depot, Inc. carries Guard Dog Security products in select Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores across the U.S. as well as online while carries ProShield backpacks. Washington Post, "Mass shootings give rise to bullet-resistant backpacks," 10 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, Office Depot, Inc. carries Guard Dog Security products in select Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores across the United States as well as online, while carries ProShield backpacks. Anne D’innocenzio,, "Mass shootings give rise to bullet-resistant backpacks," 10 Aug. 2019 Cartier Premiere de Cartier acetate and metal sunglasses with golden finish lenses; $895, at select Cartier boutiques, 800-227-8437, or Carol Mccolgin, The Hollywood Reporter, "6 Aviator Shades Inspired by 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'," 31 July 2019 The kit includes 11 pieces (10 products, plus a toilet-top caddy) and retails for $50 on and, as well as in select Target stores. Anya Leon,, "Amy Schumer Celebrates Launch of Frida Mom's New Postpartum Care for Women — See the Products," 31 July 2019 The entire four-piece offering of Polo x FEED is available in select Ralph Lauren stores and online at starting on July 25. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Polo Ralph Lauren Launches a Charitable Partnership with FEED Projects," 25 July 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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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