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

And for now, electric car buyers remain a select group. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Arnold Schwarzenegger Stars in a New Ad Plugging Electric Cars," 25 June 2019 Fix Lines Earlier in the Season The Sagarmartha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), deploys a select group of Sherpas called the Ice Doctors to put the lines and ladders up through the Khumbu Icefall every spring. Mark Jenkins, Outside Online, "How to Fix Everest," 20 June 2019 In its report, the task force found that special interests helped craft the 2013 tax break law to benefit a select group of companies, and that the state was ill-equipped to vet and monitor tax break applicants. Jeff Pillets, ProPublica, "More Instances of Fraud and Mismanagement Over New Jersey Tax Incentives Surface in New Report," 18 June 2019 The most straightforward would be to establish concessions whereby a select group of qualified operators are offered exclusive rights to guide expeditions. Adam Minter, Twin Cities, "Adam Minter: Everest needs to go more commercial," 10 June 2019 In 2011, Sosin received the Laureate Award from the association’s Academy of Illinois Lawyers, joining a select group of lawyers from around the state. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Orland attorney new president of state bar association," 7 June 2019 But over the last couple years, a select group of mathematicians and computer scientists has been busy creating games that could theoretically settle the question. Quanta Magazine, "The Universe’s Ultimate Complexity Revealed by Simple Quantum Games," 5 Mar. 2019 Many of them are good, yes, but only a select few are great. Karina Hoshikawa,, "Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector Is The Top-Selling Highlighter In The U.S. — Here Are My Honest Thoughts," 8 June 2019 Since 2014, Toys R Us has been hosting American Girl doll boutiques at select locations that include a full-service hair salon that offers styling and permanent ear piercing for the dolls. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Michiganders still able to visit Toys R Us stores in Canada," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

However, the deal did secure another key demand — that protest leaders select the members of a technocratic Cabinet to be formed independently from the generals. Author: Fay Abuelgasim, Noha Elhennawy, Anchorage Daily News, "Sudan’s protest leaders reach power-sharing deal with military," 5 July 2019 The sovereign council will consist of five military officials and five civilian leaders, along with one additional civilian, selected and agreed to by both groups. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Sudan’s military and civilian opposition have reached a power-sharing deal," 5 July 2019 Most of the research on CTE so far has been done in highly selected [groups] of people with generally very high levels of exposure to head trauma. Sabine Galvis, Science | AAAS, "Even if you don’t play contact sports, you could develop signs of traumatic brain injury," 3 July 2019 Area stars honored by GHVCA Memorial, Stratford, Second Baptist, Spring Woods and Kinkaid all had players selected for 2019 honors by the Greater Houston Volleyball Coaches Association, which recently released its Preseason Team and Watch List. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "SBISD players recognized on District 17-6A baseball team," 1 July 2019 The White Sox and first-round pick Andrew Vaughn finalized a $7.221 million bonus Wednesday, setting a franchise record for the largest bonus given to a player selected in the amateur draft. Mark Gonzales,, "White Sox and top draft pick Andrew Vaughn agree to $7.2 million bonus, a franchise record," 26 June 2019 Chara was one of 13 players selected to the All-Star team by MLS All-Star head coach James O’Connor. Jamie Goldberg,, "Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara named to 2019 MLS All-Star roster," 24 June 2019 The rest of the MLS All-Star roster will be announced at a later date and will include two commissioners’ picks and other players selected by coach James O’Connor of Orlando City SC. Chuck Schilken,, "Carlos Vela and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are among the MLS All-Star fan selections," 21 June 2019 Last June, Evans became UC's first player selected in the NBA Draft since 2010 when the Warriors took him 28th overall. Dave Clark,, "Golden State Warriors to move Jacob Evans III to point guard," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The restaurant will extend its specials during the game, which includes select appetizers for $5, small beers for $3.25 and special cocktails for $6.75. Catie Wegman,, "USA vs. Netherlands: Where to watch the Women’s World Cup finals in South Florida," 5 July 2019 Macy’s: Save 20 to 65 percent on select mattresses. NBC News, "The best Fourth of July mattress sales and how to get your money's worth," 3 July 2019 This livestream can be accessed through Wimbledon’s official website and offers live coverage of select matches. Currie Engel, Time, "Here's How to Watch Every Wimbledon 2019 Match for Free," 2 July 2019 Get an extra 15 percent off select sale and clearance men’s shoes, coats, dresses, suits, lingerie, luggage, and swim. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "The Best Fourth of July Sales to Shop While You Lounge by the Pool," 2 July 2019 If so, this special preview of select works from the Colorado Symphony’s 2019-20 season will be music to your ears. Laura Daily And Bryan K. Chavez, The Know, "16 free and cheap things to do around Denver in July," 1 July 2019 Peerless Bourbon can be found at select retailers in Kentucky. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky distillery’s first bourbon in 102 years sells out in less than a day," 1 July 2019 Score $25 all-inclusive tickets to 53 select concerts at three Indianapolis Live Nation venues. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Where to score restaurant deals and more in July around Indianapolis," 1 July 2019 From now to July 7, enjoy $10 off one-gallon cans, or $40 off five-gallon buckets of select BEHR® interior and exterior paints and stains at The Home Depot stores nationwide—including hues from the BEHR 2020 Color Trends palette. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "The Best July 4th Home Sales to Keep on Your Radar," 1 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

8 Jul 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

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