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

Synonyms & Antonyms for select

Synonyms: Adjective

choice, dainty, delicate, elegant, exquisite, fine, rare

Synonyms: Verb

cherry-pick, choose, cull, elect, handpick, name, opt (for), pick, prefer, single (out), take

Antonyms: Verb

decline, refuse, reject, turn down

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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

Drive Up is available in select markets, and will be expanding nationally throughout this year. Jeanne Houck,, "You can kick it at the curb with Target's new 'Drive Up' service," 11 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, The Seattle Times, "Gaviria beats Sagan again to claim 2nd Tour win on Stage 4," 10 July 2018 Its select membership is heavy on Republican traditionalists and power brokers, including the House committee chairs and members of the Senate GOP leadership. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, "There Really Is a Secret Club in Washington Whose Members Run America," 20 June 2018 Lake Country Boutique carries sizes from infant and toddler to 5X for select items. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This Lake Country children's clothing store started then grew online. Now, it has a storefront in Delafield.," 12 July 2018 The center will stock Jet inventory, which includes groceries and everyday essentials, as well as other select merchandise., "SoftBank raises stake in Yahoo Japan in purchase from Altaba," 11 July 2018 In the past, select items receive a dramatic price drop for a very short period of time, so keep your eyes peeled for those. Nicole Spector /, NBC News, "How to get the most out of Amazon Prime Day without overspending," 11 July 2018 Eugenie has shared several intimate Instagram posts since starting her social media account, allowing royal family fanatics to follow along with select snippets of her life. Kara Thompson, Town & Country, "Princess Eugenie Just Shared an Inside Look of the Royal Air Force Celebration on Instagram," 10 July 2018 The Beyoncé x Balmain collection, which ranges from $290 - $1,790, will be available exclusively at Balmain's Paris flagship store on July 13 and then available online and in select retailers starting July 14. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé and Balmain Collaborate On Charitable Merch Collection," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rauner has an association with Pence, the former Indiana governor before being selected by Trump as vice president. Rick Pearson,, "Vice President Pence to speak in Rosemont Friday, when Gov. Rauner will introduce him," 12 July 2018 German, Austrian, Alsatian and northeastern Italian wines populate an impressive list offering surprisingly dry reislings alongside sweeter wines selected by Liter House general manager and sommelier Lindsay Slone, formerly of Tinker Street. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Liter House restaurant brings German beer, food south of Broad Ripple," 11 July 2018 If selected and confirmed, Barrett would be the only conservative female justice. CBS News, "Judge Brett Kavanaugh named Trump's second Supreme Court justice - live updates," 9 July 2018 Barrett, if selected and confirmed, would be the youngest justice on the high court. Julie Moreau /, NBC News, "Trump's 'extreme' Supreme Court shortlist alarms LGBTQ advocates," 9 July 2018 The settlement, which includes cleanup work in the Woonasquatucket River and adjacent residential and commercial properties, requires the companies to perform the remedy selected by EPA. Stephen Singer,, "Stanley, Black & Decker Agrees To $100 Million Cleanup Of RI Superfund Site," 9 July 2018 One West End resident selected jointly by the West End Community Council and FC Cincinnati. Cameron Knight,, "Mayor reveals 13 picks to the FC Cincinnati Community Coalition," 27 June 2018 The decree eliminates the need for university presidents, or rectors, to be selected from among professors. Cagan Koc,, "Erdogan diminishes requirements for top posts in Turkey," 11 July 2018 My 2017 minivan, by contrast, just has a giant touch screen, on which different submenus must be selected to alter the cabin temperature, view navigation, or change radio channels. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Driving Without a Smartphone," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

New this year, use the camera feature in the App and get the credit that can be used toward select deals changing every six hours. Doreen Christensen,, "Amazon has already kicked off hot Prime Day deals ahead of July 16 megasale," 5 July 2018 Celebrate with all night happy hour from 3:30 to 11 p.m. Specials include $6 appetizers, $6 signature tropical cocktails, $4 draft beers, $3 select beers by the bottle and $1 off glasses of wine. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Happy birthday, America! 35 restaurants celebrating with Fourth of July food, drink deals," 29 June 2018 Amtrak allows passengers to bring small animals on select routes for a modest fee. Southern Living, "Trains Are Becoming the Preferred Way to Travel with Your Dog," 21 June 2018 The coaster, as the story goes, is an amalgamation of select Andy’s toys, including his Slinky Dog, Dash & Dodge Mega Coaster Kit and its accessory power booster, the add-on that hurls Slinky through those hoops. Dewayne Bevil,, "Disney not toying around with Slinky Dog Dash," 28 June 2018 Hallmark: Free limited edition 3-piece Star Wars pin set with a purchase of $15 or more of select Star Wars gifts in stores through May 5; 20 percent off eCard subscriptions with code Maythe4th. Doreen Christensen,, "May the Fourth Be With You: Freebies and up to 80 percent off Star Wars stuff," 4 May 2018 The wine list is made up of select Italian bottles that perfectly complement the menu along with four beers on tap and a dozen or so cans including some regional offerings. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Lupo – one of Louisville's newest pizza restaurants – has already mastered the pie," 21 Mar. 2018 Sneak peeks of select products that will receive Prime Day discounts will be available from July 9 through July 15 in the Amazon app. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "Amazon Prime Day 2018: Everything you need to know about Amazon's shopping extravaganza," 2 July 2018 Like many bikes fitted with Bosch batteries, its small handlebar HUD allows the rider to easy select between five modes, adjust the level of boost and thereby the bike's electric range. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Every Kind of Bike Is Going Electric," 22 June 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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Statistics for select

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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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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).


to make amends

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