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 select (audio) \ adjective
selectness \ sə-​ˈlek(t)-​nəs How to pronounce select (audio) \ noun
selector \ sə-​ˈlek-​tər How to pronounce select (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 Many who are stakeholders in practices that will outlive them continue to serve a select group of long-term clients. Todd Sixt, Forbes, 7 June 2021 Earlier this week, a select group of people close to Meghan Markle received advance copies of her upcoming children's book, The Bench. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, 6 June 2021 Five-star talent Five-star status is only given to a select group. Marcus Fuller, Star Tribune, 28 May 2021 The company recently invited a select group of journalists to come drive them and gave me and my old socks a call. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, 12 May 2021 The fifth-year senior joins McEwen (2019) and Devon Wallace (2012) in that select group. Paul Boyd, Arkansas Online, 11 May 2021 Swift -- also the first non-British recipient of the prize -- joins a select group of previous winners: David Bowie, Elton John and Robbie Williams. Toyin Owoseje, CNN, 10 May 2021 In an unprecedented move, authorities are even offering Emirati citizenship to a select group of foreigners. Isabel Debre, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 May 2021 As for Spaces, Twitter has been letting a select group of its users hold live audio chat rooms on topics ranging from politics to sports to entertainment vowing that the feature would be available for other users. Terry Collins, USA TODAY, 3 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But supporters who buy a stake in the franchise will be allowed to help select a team name and colors as well as help with other decisions. Star Tribune, 8 June 2021 Americans never approached the Games like other countries where governments select and fund their teams. Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2021 Former Wisconsin poet laureate Kimberly Blaeser was one of the panelists who helped select the 2021 Poets Laureate Fellowships, the academy's name for this initiative. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 June 2021 Standing in front of a glittery gold curtain and vintage California Lottery wheel, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday helped select the first 15 winners of the state’s lottery for residents who have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 June 2021 The Stars did not win either the No. 1 or No. 2 pick in the upcoming NHL draft, and will select 14th when the first round begins on July 23. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, 2 June 2021 Since members can access select Prime Day discounts starting June 18, be sure to bookmark this page to keep tabs on all the best early deals worth shopping. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, 2 June 2021 The two-day draft will be held virtually for a second consecutive year, with the first round being held on July 23 — two days after the expansion draft, during which the Kraken will select one player from each of the 31 teams. John Wawrow, ajc, 2 June 2021 Bolt launched a service in several cities late last year that allows female riders to select female drivers (though currently, there are far more male e-hailing drivers across Africa). Shola Lawal, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Those who prefer to watch American Idol on the go can download the ABC app on select iOS, Android, Amazon, Apple TV, Samsung, and Google Chromecast devices. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, 29 May 2021 In which case, here comes Plan B: a House select committee -- with a twist. John Avlon, CNN, 28 May 2021 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left the door open for a Benghazi-style select committee. Andrew Solender, Forbes, 27 May 2021 Hundreds of Trump supporters packed the meeting to demand that the town select Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, a consultant in the Maricopa County audit who claims to have invented technology that can detect fraudulent ballots. Eric Bradner, CNN, 21 May 2021 Now, that’s not to say that the edge rusher the Ravens select has to be as good as Boulware, the No. 4 overall pick, or Suggs, the No. 10 overall pick. Mike Preston,, 13 Apr. 2021 Robotic vacuums with room select — like the Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL Robotic Vacuum — will learn the difference between rooms. Lauren Corona,, 28 Mar. 2021 On the shore of the lake, recreationists can find a dock with boats to rent, a swimming pool (open select dates June through August), a sand volleyball court and a fishing pier, not to mention several disc golf baskets. Patrick Connolly,, 26 Mar. 2021 In addition to simulcasting all Sunday Night Football games, Peacock, NBCUniversal's streaming service, will deliver an exclusive feed of a select of NFL games throughout the agreement. Jonathan Berr, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2021

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

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Select.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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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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