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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Wilson was part of a select group of cartoonists who own their style, who deliver on paper what seems to be a good piece of themselves. Michael Maslin, The New Yorker, "The Beautifully Macabre Cartoons of Gahan Wilson," 23 Nov. 2019 Jon Morosi of the MLB Network recently tweeted the following: #Rockies RHP Jon Gray is among a select group of controllable @MLB starters who could be moved via trade this offseason, and his name is a popular one this week at GM Meetings. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies Mailbag: Jon Gray trade talk, Coors Field effect, hot stove updates and more," 20 Nov. 2019 Next up, Serena’s Design Crew where a select group of 10 applicants will get the chance to create a Nike x Serena Williams capsule collection. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Serena Williams and Nike Partner Up To Create A Design Crew," 7 Nov. 2019 The Times confirmed land deals that benefited a select group of political insiders, visited farms in several countries, and used government records to determine subsidy payments received by some of the largest of these beneficiaries. Benjamin Novak, New York Times, "The Money Farmers: How Oligarchs and Populists Milk the E.U. for Millions," 3 Nov. 2019 Failure to represent the core values of the district, which promotes an inclusive environment, when eliciting input from only a select group of staff. Segann March,, "'We deserve better:' Three Rivers teachers, parents on no confidence in district leadership," 1 Nov. 2019 In a first, people in China who rank in the 10% of income earners around the world now outnumber Americans in that select group, highlighting the ongoing tilt in global wealth toward Asia. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "For the first time, there are fewer wealthy Americans than Chinese," 21 Oct. 2019 Turkey is also part of a select group of five NATO members—along with Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy—whose territory hosts American nuclear weapons, too. Ankit Panda, The New Republic, "Why Are U.S. Nuclear Bombs Still in Turkey?," 15 Oct. 2019 Then, last year, Iranian authorities allowed a select group of women into Azadi Stadium by invitation only to watch the Asian Champion League final., "TEHRAN — They had to sit well apart from the men, and the place was practically empty, but thousands of Iranian women in merry jester hats and face paint blew horns and cheered inside a Tehran stadium Thursday at the first FIFA soccer match they have been allowed to freely attend in decades.," 11 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The process to select the historic team began in early 2018 with a 26-person blue-ribbon voting panel., "But we haven’t seen anything like what we’re going to get from him with the “NFL 100” series that premieres Friday night (8 p.m.) on the NFL Network.," 22 Nov. 2019 Noam Slonim, the engineer who leads Project Debater at IBM, said the company would shortly begin making this technology available to select customers of its cloud computing services. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "IBM Showcases A.I. That Can Parse Arguments In Cambridge Union Debate," 22 Nov. 2019 Hunter notified District Judge Kim Bridgforth of the conflict, and Bridgforth directed Bob McMahan, the state prosecutor coordinator, to select a special prosecutor to decide whether to file formal charges against Soffer based on Davis' complaint. Dale Ellis, Arkansas Online, "Prosecutor picked to review fray involving election commissioners," 22 Nov. 2019 Partisanship meant allowing the majority to select its representatives. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "Making Impeachment Matter," 21 Nov. 2019 Labour has also done more than the Tories to select candidates who look like their constituents. The Economist, "Bagehot Labour still beats the Tories at old-fashioned canvassing," 21 Nov. 2019 Trump will be able to select from a series of ideas for how to address the growing homeless problem in several major cities. Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "White House readies California homelessness plan after ousting top official," 21 Nov. 2019 Pennsylvania law allows abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy for any reason except to select a gender., "News of the Day From Across the Nation," 21 Nov. 2019 The court noted that to implement the Selden system, Baker—or anyone else—had to select and arrange columns and headings more or less the same way Selden did in his book’s forms. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "US Supreme Court holds innovation in the balance in Google v Oracle," 20 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Last year, Big 5 Sporting Goods offered 25% off select Nike apparel, plus early bird shoppers could get $10 in Bonus Bucks with a purchase of $10 or more. cleveland, "6 Places to shop on Black Friday 2019: Big-boxes and beyond," 14 Nov. 2019 Other Halloween deals include 50 percent off select treats, $5 off platters and a special Halloween six count box for $9.99. Leada Gore |, al, "Halloween 2019: Scare up the best deals, discounts, freebies on doughnuts, pizza, more," 31 Oct. 2019 The limited edition collection will be released November 1 exclusively at select Le Creuset boutique stores and online, the company said. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "The Force is strong with this new collection from Le Creuset," 4 Oct. 2019 The post popped up in select Instagram feeds shortly before the election in 2016. Jasper Craven, The New Republic, "Russian Trolls Love Targeting U.S. Veterans," 18 Sep. 2019 Scorsese’s The Irishman is currently playing in select theaters, and will arrive on Netflix on Nov. 27. Tyler Aquilina,, "Martin Scorsese explains why he opted out of producing Joker, addresses Marvel comments," 4 Nov. 2019 Arlen’s entire, sprinkle-filled line is now available on Jockey’s website and at select stores. Claudia Harmata,, "Victoria Arlen Is Paying Tribute to Her 'Second Chance' at Life with a New Athleisure Line," 26 Sep. 2019 The 10-year-old company also recently partnered with JCPenney and Macy’s to carry its secondhand women’s clothing in select stores. Mandy Behbehani,, "How Bay Area sellers are cashing in on the online resale boom," 20 Sep. 2019 The 170-piece collection, available online and in select stores today, captures the international cool that made Union a leader in luxury menswear. Ian Malone, Vogue, "Union Los Angeles and Nordstrom Celebrate Their Collaboration With a Lower East Side Block Party," 11 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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Time Traveler for select

Time Traveler

The first known use of select was circa 1555

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Statistics for select

Last Updated

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Select.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on select

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for select

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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very cautious or careful

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