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 In May 2013, when Edward Snowden leaked classified documents about government surveillance to a select group of journalists, Barton Gellman was among them. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "One Journalist’s Wary, Frustrating Relationship With Edward Snowden," 12 May 2020 Among a select group of endorsements listed on Wheeler’s reelection flyer are his three colleagues on the city council: Eudaly, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and Commissioner Amanda Fritz, as well as the logos of the local MLS and NWSL soccer teams. oregonlive, "Mayor Ted Wheeler says in campaign mailer that Portland Timbers, Thorns Commissioner Chloe Eudaly endorsed him – but they didn’t," 1 May 2020 The Positive Coaches Alliance honored a select group of 25 as Double-Goal Coach Award National Winners, from more than 700 nominations. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Katy baseball coach McPherson wins Positive Coaching Alliance national award," 27 Apr. 2020 Warner, who went to the New York Giants after experiencing success in St. Louis and then ended his career with the Arizona Cardinals, offered some advice to Brady while talking to a select group of reporters at the NFL Combine this week. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Where should Tom Brady play? Kurt Warner has advice for New England Patriots free agent," 28 Feb. 2020 Nordstrom kicked off a sale of up to 50-percent off select men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, shoes and jewelry on Thursday and there are several items that may meet your needs. oregonlive, "Nordstrom running 50 percent off sale: 21 of the best shorts, shirts, other items at steep discounts right now," 8 May 2020 How to Build a Girl debuts this Friday in select drive-ins, cable VOD and digital VOD. Rachel Yang,, "From Lady Bird to How to Build a Girl, Beanie Feldstein is a coming-of-age movie star," 8 May 2020 TikTok has also begun experimenting with e-commerce buttons for select advertisers and influencers, according to Digiday. Sherisse Pham, CNN, "TikTok is winning over millennials and Instagram stars as its popularity explodes," 5 May 2020 Beginning at noon, residents can choose from a select menu for nine different restaurants and get a free lunch, one per person while supplies last. cleveland, "Machine Gun Kelly offering free lunch to Cleveland residents Friday," 1 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Lamb placed second among the 10 pass catchers selected. Dallas News, "Pro Football Focus ranks Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb’s situation one of the best among rookie wide receivers," 24 May 2020 Seniors dominate the team, selected by classes 7A, 6A, 4A-5A and 1A-3A, with 173 of the 302 players named. Dennis Victory, al, "See the soccer coaches high school all-state team by class," 23 May 2020 Simply selecting popular options such as all-wheel drive and a crew-cab body style can substantially inflate a truck's sticker price. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "How to Buy the Pickup Truck That Best Fits Your Lifestyle and Your Budget," 23 May 2020 Some governors have permitted only select businesses to open. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "Analysis: States that reopened earlier haven't seen higher rates of infection," 22 May 2020 Panel members, selected through a competitive application process, met seven times throughout the school year. cleveland, "Bingo shopping in Cleveland Heights; Rosenberg wins prestigious Jewish Federation award: Press Run," 22 May 2020 Plan a photo shoot: Choose a theme, select a location and get creative with props and costumes. Katia Hetter, CNN, "Summer is not completely canceled. Here are 100 things we can do with or without kids.," 22 May 2020 Howard, selected fourth overall by Washington in the 1992 draft, hadn't developed out of the gate. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: Desmond Howard's dagger helps the Packers win Super Bowl XXXI," 22 May 2020 The school declined to confirm whether Reade was selected for an audition. Anchorage Daily News, "Biden accuser’s life marred by abuse and financial hardship," 22 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Belgium, Greece and Austria are all resuming lessons for select grades in coming weeks. Katrin Bennhold, New York Times, "As Europe Reopens Schools, Relief Combines With Risk," 10 May 2020 Florists and other select businesses are reopening under a relaxation of the state’s stay-at-home order. Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times, "‘It’s not what this town is about’: Seal Beach’s Main Street struggles to come back," 8 May 2020 Nike has 50 percent off select styles through Sunday, May 10 to 11 p.m. (12 a.m. ET). Mark Heim |, al, "Late Mother’s Day gift ideas? Nike, Adidas, Fanatics offering big sales," 8 May 2020 On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California will begin allowing select businesses to reopen as early as Friday, May 8, while still encouraging people to practice social distancing. Elly Belle,, "Will California’s Reopening Plan Set The Tone For Other States?," 5 May 2020 But with campuses still closed, students can call 210-458-4140 and select option 2 to schedule phone or video counseling for that day or the next business day, Hernandez said. Alia Malik,, "UT San Antonio to hire more counselors, expand access to mental health services," 1 May 2020 And with the fourth pick, the Cleveland Browns select . . Terry Pluto, cleveland, "Cleveland Browns 2018 draft class will be put on the spot in 2020, and not just Baker Mayfield," 1 May 2020 Prada jacket, $1,560, select Prada boutiques Tie... WSJ, "Bring on the Gatsby Suit," 30 Apr. 2020 Scientists use information from the genome of the virus to create a blueprint of select antigens. Charles Schmidt, Scientific American, "Genetic Engineering Could Make a COVID-19 Vaccine in Months Rather Than Years," 29 Apr. 2020

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

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Select.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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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

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