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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Adjective 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. Verb 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To use it, select Portrait Light from the Adjust menu. Harry Guinness, Popular Science, "Google Photos is better at image editing than you think," 17 Nov. 2020 The celebration starts with butternut squash soup and a pear-grape salad, then diners select from turkey with classic sides, prime rib with a broccoli-cauliflower gratin or salmon with butternut squash risotto. Rick Nelson, Star Tribune, "These 7 Twin Cities restaurants are taking Thanksgiving reservations," 6 Nov. 2020 Starting in 2021, select Burger King restaurants in New York City, Portland, Ore., and Tokyo will be among the first to implement the model, with more cities expected to be added later on. Josh Rivera, USA TODAY, "Please return that burger box once you're done: Burger King is testing reusable containers," 22 Oct. 2020 Students and parents have voiced mixed reactions to the University of Central Florida’s plans to randomly select students for COVID-19 testing, with some questioning the legality of mandatory testing and the penalties students who refuse will face. Lina Ruiz,, "UCF random COVID-19 testing gets mixed reactions from students, parents," 29 Sep. 2020 Each quarter, cardmembers can activate these bonus categories for extra cash back on purchases at grocery stores, select streaming services, and more to receive up to $1,500 back. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Chase’s Freedom Flex Earns 5 Percent Cash Back on Travel," 15 Sep. 2020 The Democratic and Republican state parties in each state select and certify electors with their state. Carla Frank,, "How Joe Biden’s Delegate Director Prepared For A Zoom Convention," 18 Aug. 2020 Select Meridiana builders, including Chesmar, are providing a $3,000 credit toward purchase of select, new luxury homes, part of the community’s limited-time Summer Sales Event. Houston Chronicle, "Chesmar expands presence in Meridiana, opens new showcase model," 12 June 2020 Trump remains able to join another select group and seek to be only the second president ever to serve non-consecutive terms. Joe Garofoli,, "Joe Biden wins the White House," 7 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If Michigan's state board of canvassers does not certify Biden's victory in Michigan, state lawmakers could be asked to select electors, who participate in the Electoral College vote on December 14. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "John Bolton says Trump will try to "squeeze" Michigan officials during White House visit," 20 Nov. 2020 The Michigan Legislature would be called on to select electors if Trump succeeded in convincing the state’s board of canvassers not to certify Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in the state. Colleen Long, Zeke Miller,, "‘We are going to reclaim the United States’: President Trump, his lawyers and allies take frantic steps to overturn Joe Biden’s victory," 20 Nov. 2020 The Michigan Legislature would be called on to select electors if Trump succeeded in persuading the board not to certify the results. Zeke Miller, Star Tribune, "Trump tries to leverage power of office to subvert Biden win," 20 Nov. 2020 The Michigan Legislature would be called on to select electors if Trump succeeded in convincing the board not to certify the results. Arkansas Online, "Trump to meet Michigan leaders in bid to subvert election," 20 Nov. 2020 The Michigan Legislature would be called on to select electors if Trump succeeded in convincing the board not to certify the results. Author: Zeke Miller, Colleen Long, David Eggert, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump tries to leverage power of office to subvert Biden win," 20 Nov. 2020 The request would be for those bodies to select Trump electors and order them to cast their ballots for the president, regardless of the candidate the states’ voters actually preferred. Austin Sarat, The Conversation, "Trump invitation to Michigan lawmakers could spark state and federal political crisis," 19 Nov. 2020 The Constitution does not detail a specific procedure for how to select presidential electors, which leaves states to choose their own methods. Nuha Dolby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "How the Electoral College works in Wisconsin, and why it's unlikely go against the popular vote," 19 Nov. 2020 After a long offseason to ponder their choice, they are projected to select Georgia guard Anthony Edwards. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "NBA draft 2020 live tracker: Keep up with first-round analysis for each pick," 19 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The most common grades of beef are prime, choice and select. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Prime, choice or select," 31 Oct. 2020 The Cowboys replaced Martin with 2018 third-round draft select Connor McGovern, who brought just two snaps of NFL experience to this contest. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Cowboys lose four-time All-Pro offensive guard Zack Martin in latest injury hit to offense," 20 Oct. 2020 The per-pound price for to-go claws from Billy’s seafood market are $25 for medium, $30 for select, $35 for large, $49 for jumbo and $53 for colossal. Chris Perkins,, "Stone crab season is under way with a mix of optimism and uncertainty under a coronavirus cloud," 16 Oct. 2020 There has been chatter in the aerospace community in recent months that one or more of the lander teams are pushing for all of the funding in this February down-select by intimating that the other teams cannot possibly meet the technical challenge. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA wants a big budget increase for its Moon plans. Is Congress biting?," 23 Sep. 2020 First select from a panel of categories like couples, men’s, or women’s costumes, and then choose from more narrower selections like scary, funny, or princess storybook costumes. Marissa Miller, USA TODAY, "The 10 best places you can buy Halloween costumes online," 15 Sep. 2020 Delta has eliminated change fees for domestic flights, including to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, for tickets in first class, premium select, Delta Comfort+, and main cabin, the company announced. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, "American, Delta, Alaska Follow United’s Lead and Drop Change Fees," 1 Sep. 2020 Brother Vellies released its Huarache sandal in mens allotting for a comfy select and serves as a great cook-out shoe for the summer. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Father's Day Gifts For The Dad Who Loves Fashion," 9 June 2020 Among them: a new reservation system that allows visitors to pick a time on select dates to drive the park road in their own vehicle, a unique opportunity that usually occurs only with the road lottery in September. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Unusual summer at Denali National Park will include private drivers and guided caravans," 28 May 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about select

Time Traveler for select

Time Traveler

The first known use of select was circa 1555

See more words from the same year

Statistics for select

Last Updated

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Select.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for select


How to pronounce select (audio)

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 againstanimal breeders need to select simultaneously for improved conformity to breed characteristics and against defective genes causing disease

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!