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

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 Podcast fans will soon be able to hear the voices of Barack and Michelle Obama on select projects, as their production company Higher Ground strikes a deal with Spotify. Rosy Cordero,, "Barack and Michelle Obama strike deal to produce podcasts for Spotify," 6 June 2019 But for select Twins, a return trip could come a few days earlier. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Many Twins building strong All-Star case," 6 June 2019 In the end, Grande seemed to say, all of us want Gucci and Tiffany’s, but only a select few (i.e. stadium-pop stars) can afford it. Greg Kot,, "Review: Ariana Grande's efficient pop buzzes through United Center," 5 June 2019 The training camp will include an 18-player roster along with a 10-man select team. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks players Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez are invited to Team USA training camp, per report," 5 June 2019 Raising tax equity in a solar project is an immensely complicated process only available to a select few investors. Benjamin Storrow, Scientific American, "As Renewable Energy Subsidies Expire, Experts Advocate Tax Credits," 4 June 2019 Previously only available on draft, Death & Taxes is now available in 16-ounce cans at select retailers throughout the Bay Area. Jay R. Brooks, The Mercury News, "6 superb California craft lagers for summer," 3 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Get our daily newsletter Or consider the national election in March in which Thais selected the 500 members of the lower house. The Economist, "The leader of the Thai junta tortures the rules to remain in power," 8 June 2019 With Walmart’s new service, customers place a grocery delivery order online and then select InHome Delivery and a delivery day at checkout. Washington Post, "Walmart service to deliver groceries inside customers’ homes," 7 June 2019 Players pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers -- five different numbers from 1 to 70 and one number from 1 to 25 -- or select Easy Pick. National Desk,, "Mega Millions numbers: A single ticket has won Friday’s $530 million lottery jackpot," 7 June 2019 Passengers must show a visa in order to travel and select one of the allowed travel categories listed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. David Lyons,, "You can still fly to Cuba despite Trump’s new ban. Here’s how.," 7 June 2019 All products featured on are independently selected by our editors. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appétit, "This Is the Only Folding Chair I Want at the Beach This Summer," 6 June 2019 Winter Springs had three players selected to the Sentinel all-area first team. J.c. Carnahan,, "Sentinel softball all-area teams led by Kaley Mudge of Winter Springs," 6 June 2019 The Flyers, who selected Laczynski with the 169th overall pick, own his rights until Aug. 15, 2020. Sam Carchidi,, "Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee head Flyers’ forward-heavy, top-10 prospect list," 6 June 2019 More than two decades after the late Roy Halladay was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1995, the team selected his son in the 2019 MLB draft — and added a touching gesture in the process. Jason Duaine Hahn,, "Son of Late MLB Great Roy Halladay Is Drafted by Toronto Blue Jays — His Dad's Former Team," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The German beer bar on North Mississippi Avenue will show all the games during regular business hours and may open early for select matches. Jamie Goldberg,, "Where to watch the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Portland: Bars, pubs, food specials, more," 5 June 2019 In this mock draft, the Wings select center Dylan Cozens. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings NHL mock draft: Dylan Cozens can help rebuild down the road," 5 June 2019 Take 25 percent off select products for Memorial Day and even get a gift with purchase on orders of $50 or more. Lauren Swanson, Allure, "The Best Memorial Day Weekend 2019 Beauty and Fashion Sales to Shop Online," 24 May 2019 The book features a touching foreword by Jacobs’s muse and longtime friend, Sofia Coppola, and is filled with illustrations (by Vogue's Grace Coddington) of select looks from every Marc Jacobs collection dating back to 1993. Vogue, "Marc Jacobs, Grace Coddington, and Sofia Coppola Celebrate "Marc Jacobs Illustrated" with an Uptown Book Signing," 23 May 2019 Starting on May 22, save up to 30 percent on select Rivet and Stone & Beam furniture, and on May 26, save up to 20 percent on Safavieh rugs. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "The Best Memorial Day Sales of 2019, From Mattresses to Appliances," 21 May 2019 It was relegated to dime-store paperbacks and late-night programming available on select, out-of-package channels—something to be kept out of sight. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Time of True Crime," 26 Apr. 2019 Other bonus events: Louisville Improvisors return with Late Night Shakes on select Saturdays with late night improvised Shakespeare shows, June 2, 16, 30 and Aug. 4. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's free Shakespeare festival is meant for 'entire community'," 29 May 2018 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

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

10 Jun 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

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behavior toward others

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