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

Prices of beef cuts have also been falling, with select beef cutout dropping 4% over the same period to $213.29 per hundredweight, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ... Kirk Maltais, WSJ, "Colder Weather, Trade Fears Hurt Cattle, Beef Prices," 7 May 2019 The first group of pieces will go live on Re/Done’s website in mid-May, along with select retailers including, Barneys, and Selfridges. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Attico’s New Collaboration With Re/Done Is Giving Upcycled Fashion a Major Boost," 15 Apr. 2019 Parking is available for each unit, with 118 stalls at both street level and below-grade, with extra storage available for select units. 50 Pine Street, The Seattle Times, "Luxury condominiums in the heart of Puget Sound," 11 Apr. 2019 Serta: Save up to $400 on iComfort mattresses and up to $500 on select adjustable foundations through 11/27. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Best Cyber Monday deals you can still shop," 27 Nov. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This year, Diane von Furstenberg, iconic designer and former chairwoman of the CFDA, selected Coelho to be her guest at the annual gala, along with her granddaughter Tatiana von Furstenberg. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Camila Coelho Gets Ready for Her First Met Gala," 9 May 2019 Rachel Lindsay Rachel Lindsay first appeared on Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor in 2017 and was selected to be the Bachelorette the following year, becoming the first black lead for the franchise. De Elizabeth, Glamour, "For The Bachelor Contestants, Is Finding Love and Spon-Con Deals Worth the Trolls?," 9 May 2019 If selected, the Behr Color Explorer will be notified on or around May 23, 2019. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Behr Paint Wants To Pay You $10,000 to Travel the World and Name New Paint Colors," 25 Apr. 2019 Koolhaas, aside from being a celebrated architect and author, is held in especially high regard for having been selected to design the New Museum’s upcoming physical expansion. Zachary Schwartz, Vogue, "Emily Ratajkowski, Sienna Miller, and More Celebrate the Ultra-Cool Rem Koolhaas at the New Museum’s Spring Gala," 4 Apr. 2019 Grimshaw Architects, which has a large portfolio of airport design work—including terminals in Istanbul and Melbourne, Australia—has been selected to design the edifice, but details are still scant. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "New York's Airports Are Getting Billion-Dollar Makeovers—But What Will They Actually Change?," 21 Nov. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The online superstore just slashed prices on select succulents and bonsai trees by 25% in honor of the holiday. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Succulents and Bonsai Trees Are 25% Off for Mother's Day on Amazon," 1 May 2019 Brock played on some of the state’s top select teams and last summer was with the Washington Supreme in Tacoma. Sandy Ringer, The Seattle Times, "Big-time talent, small town: Kittitas’ Brock Ravet looking for one more title before going to Gonzaga," 19 Feb. 2019 Reebok x Gigi Hadid just dropped today on the Reebok website and in select stores. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Gigi Hadid Designed an Athleisure Clothing Line With Reebok and It's SO Freaking Cute," 4 Feb. 2019 To support implementing the outcomes of the Singapore Summit, and in coordination with our Republic of Korea ally, Secretary Mattis has indefinitely suspended select exercises. Fox News, "2 more training exercises with South Korea suspended indefinitely," 2 Oct. 2018 The move comes after Whole Foods raised prices on select items in February, mostly consumer products, as suppliers increased their prices because of higher transport and ingredient... Heather Haddon, WSJ, "Amazon Cuts More Prices at Whole Foods," 1 Apr. 2019 Fashion Atelier New Regime: Score up to 35 percent off select styles 11/23 to 11/26. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "The Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 Deals From All of Your Favorite Stores and Brands," 20 Nov. 2018 That’s influenced this coaching staff, and that has influenced really this select. Clarence E. Hill Jr., star-telegram, "Connor Williams’ dream come true was born out of Cowboys’ nightmare in Atlanta | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 28 Apr. 2018 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

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

13 May 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).


a strong desire or propensity

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